Evacuation Issue Due To Communication Failures

Posted at 5:54 PM, Dec 04, 2016

Officials in Sevier County said communication failures were the reason emergency evacuation notifications were not issued as the wildfire there grew out of control.

Those with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said officials worked diligently to coordinate the warning to the public before and during the wildfires.

In an online statement they described how officials sent media releases, used social media, and held media briefings on November 28 to alert the public about the status of the fire.

It was also reported that authorities made door-to-door notifications beginning at noon.

Reports stated TEMA and the National Weather Service attempted to contact the fire command post about issuing an emergency text, but all communications were down by that point. Electricity had been lost in many areas and there were issues with cell towers.