Cummins Falls | Nashville Public Radio

Cummins Falls

mitchellma via Wikimedia Commons

A flood warning system at Cummins Falls State Park is moving forward, slowly, after a 2-year-old boy died in a flood this summer.

But after engineers visited the site, the system is expected to cost more than originally planned. Engineers working on the project tell the state the changes will improve the effectiveness of the long-awaited project.

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

A flood warning system that's supposed to be installed at Cummins Falls State Park will help improve safety at another outdoor scenic destination as well.

Window Cliffs State Natural Area will be monitored for rising floodwaters once the proposed system is in place, according to documents obtained by WPLN. The project will cost about $42,500 in total and be installed by a Utah-based company.

Emily Siner / WPLN

The parents of the 2-year-old boy who died in a flash flood at Cummins Falls State Park last month have started the process to sue the state of Tennessee for negligence.

Their lawsuit, WPLN has learned, will address a key question that's also being asked by lawmakers and the state government: Why was a flood warning system that was announced two years ago not in place when Steven Pierce was swept away?

TN General Assembly

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said Wednesday it will install a new water monitoring system at Cummins Falls within the next 45 days.

The department appeared Wednesday in front of lawmakers and discussed its response to the death of a 2-year-old boy at the state park during a flash flood. 

Emily Siner / WPLN

When rangers were alerted to rising water at Cummins Falls State Park last weekend, they had about two minutes to evacuate visitors to safety. A 2-year-old boy was swept away during a flash flood at the base of the waterfall.

But a system of gauges that was proposed for the area around the park might have given them one to two hours of warning.

mitchellma via Wikimedia Commons

Two years after a 2017 fatal flash flood at Cummins Falls State Park, officials still have not implemented an early warning system that they announced at the time measuring water levels in nearby rivers.