PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn. — Four Tennessee lawmakers delivered a letter to the Department of Environment and Conservation asking why action has not been taken to install a flood level warning system at Cummins Falls State Park that has been planned since 2017.
The letter comes after 2-year-old Steven Pierce of Kentucky was killed after being swept away by floodwaters in the gorge near the falls and 64 total people were evacuated from the water.
State Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta), State Representative Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville), State Representative Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) and State Representative John Mark Windle (D-Livingston) asked the department for the "prompt installation" of the warning system "to better monitor the gorge’s rising water levels."
Three persons have been killed in the last two years due to the gorge’s rising flood levels and multiple emergency evacuations have been conducted, putting first responders and visitors at risk, according to the release from Senator Bailey's office.
“It is past time to make installing a warning system a priority,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “We ask for your immediate attention to this matter and prompt installation of a warning system before more lives are lost.”