After heavy criticism from flood victims and lawmakers, the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service defended Thursday how they responded to the floods.

They stated once again they had no choice but release the water because it threatened overtake the Old Hickory Dam while saying the race to predict the crest wasn't easy.

Maps the corps released Thursday show how the floods turned neighborhoods and downtown into mini lakes. Part of this flooding came from water released through the Old Hickory Dam, during the worst of the storm.

"When you're in that flood fight, you're human," said Lt. Col. Anthony Mitchell.

Representatives from the corps and the NWS defended why they released the water, how they distributed information to the public and why they forecast the river to crest at eight different levels at eight different times over two days.

Larry Vannozzi of the NWS said it was an "unprecedented situation." The NWS said it now has assessment teams determining if they could have done a better job alerting the public.

A Channel 4 I-Team investigation found the NWS never included in its warnings that water was being released through the dams.

There have also been questions why storage in other dams upstream weren't fully utilized to hold back more water. But the corps said it did use all of the storage it could, saying it held back 530 trillion gallons of water in dams upstream during the floods.


Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the News4 I-Team's Chief Investigative Reporter. He has won multiple Midsouth Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Recommended for you