A few weeks ago I started a post that gave out a timeline of news stories based on Jim Cooper’s reaction to the flood. Before I could post it, the Corps came out with their report. So, the post no longer appeared to be relevant. I wish I had saved it in my drafts because some of those articles now are connected to this article I suggest you read. Most of the articles were about Gaylord’s attempt to blame the Corps for not warning them regarding the release of the water. It also included reports of the Opryland area flooding in 1975 and 1979. Here is an article from 2005 that gives a bit of history of the flooding in 1975. From the Tennessean
So what caused the flood? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Jim Bates blamed “deliberate invasions of flood plains by developers and those who finance developments.”
Bates noted in a 1975 interview that the then-new MetroCenter did not flood, while Opryland did, because “one built an adequate flood wall, but the other did not.”
The Opryland area’s flood dike has since been enhanced. The park closed after the 1997 season for demolition and construction of the $200 million Opry Mills shopping center, which opened in 2000.
However, note that the reason given for the flooding was due to an inadequate flood wall. While it says they have improved their flood wall, per the article from this weekend in which the Tennessean investigated and found that even in 2003 the Corps of Engineers were still warning the flood walls were too low.
Documents The Tennessean obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that the Corps had no jurisdiction to require a higher levee but continued as recently as 2003 to throw up red flags about Gaylord’s privately owned levee.
“Because we have no official capacity, it was just a recommendation to these folks,” said Mike Zoccola, chief of the civil design branch for the Nashville District Corps office. “Opryland is entirely a private levee.”
My question is this, now that the primary is almost over and Jim Cooper doesn’t need to have his name in the news as much and now that the Corps of Engineers have released their report, why isn’t Jim Cooper asking Gaylord why they didn’t listen to the recommendations made by the Corps? Why is being silent after trying to blame the Corps in what looks like a way to aid Gaylord as they talked about suing for damages? Where are you Jim Cooper standing up for all your constituents and not just the one who you think would benefit you the most?