Haslam wants review of Gatlinburg wildfire; doesn’t want to be a ‘Monday morning quarterback’

Gov. Bill Haslam says a review of the way state and local officials handled the Sevier County wildfires should be open and transparent but he doesn’t want to be a “Monday morning quarterback,” reports the News Sentinel.

“I don’t think there’s anything to hide from anything that I know about,” Haslam said, speaking to the media after meeting with a group of community college leaders in Nashville. “There’s been some remarkable stories of people coming through in a very dangerous and obviously critical situation.

“So from where I stand, there’s nothing I’ve seen anywhere in the process that somebody needs to hide anything. I don’t know why that would be.”

The governor said the loss of phone calls related to state officials’ response to the deadly wildfires was unintentional and will likely not affect the review of how the disaster was handled.

TEMA said a barrage of calls overloaded its recording system at the Emergency Operations Center in Nashville on Nov. 28, 2016 — the night a firestorm killed 14 people and damaged or destroyed more than 2,400 structures in Gatlinburg and the surrounding Sevier County communities.

… “It’s always easy to go back when you have a tragedy like this and say this should have happened different, that should have happened different,” Haslam said. “And so I don’t want to be the Monday morning quarterback.

“But I do think it’s important to go back and say, what are all the critical decisions that were made along the way? Did we have the right information to make the very best decision we could at that point in time, and if we didn’t have the right information, why not?”

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