State park death: Delays, confusion meant no warning system

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two years of delays and confusion stymied plans at Cummins Falls State Park for a flood warning system, a safeguard never installed before rushing water killed a 2-year-old Kentucky boy last month.

WPLN-FM’s review of Department of Environment and Conservation and Tennessee Tech University emails shows enthusiasm for the system just after a fatal 2017 flood.

In September 2017, the park manager sent a $37,000 proposal to state environmental higher-ups. Months later, he received university funding confirmation.

In May 2018, department procurement contacted Tech professors about the vendor. The park manager told the professors that the parties were crafting a legal document.

In subsequent months, both expressed frustration.

Environmental commissioner David Salyers asked about the system this year. May and June emails show people trying to assess where things halted.

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