|Chief Keith Scruggs Participates in Tornado Roundtable Discussion|
|Tuesday, June 16, 2009|
On Monday, June 8th, Congressman Bart Gordon and Congressman Lincoln Davis, held a roundtable discussion in Murfreesboro, which was hit by a deadly twister on Easter weekend of this year. Meeting with weather experts from across Tennessee, including Macon County EMS Director and Fire Chief Keith Scruggs, the informative conference was organized to discuss the early prediction of tornadoes, communication, and response methods.
“Our state has led the nation in tornado fatalities over the past ten years, but we do have the weapon of technology,” said Gordon, who is Chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee.
“We spent years planning and training for a natural disaster, but we just couldn’t foresee something of this magnitude,” said Chief Scruggs, “but we’re proud of the work we accomplished along with all the community leaders and the private citizens as well.”
“This was the second deadliest tornado in Tennessee’s history, and we had local elections going on in Macon County that night,” Scruggs continued “This factor along with the news being on over television, got people into the places they needed to be.”
“But personally, I also think God stepped in on that deadly night, because the glow in the south from the Columbia Gulf Fire, lit up the sky enabling people to see first hand just how close the tornado was, giving them a little extra time to seek shelter.”
“It’s crucial for people in the path of severe weather to be alerted promptly,” Scruggs emphasized, “because believe me, early warning is the key to surviving.”
Also participating in the roundtable discussion were Ron Howes, Chief Meteorologist, News Channel 5, Nashville; Mayor Tommy Bragg, Murfreesboro; Larry Vannozzi, Meteorologist-in-charge, National Weather Service, Nashville office; Davis Nolan, Meteorologist, WKRN-News 2; Percy Phifer, EMA Director for Warren County; Lisa Spencer, Meteorologist, WSMV-Channel 4; and Arch Kennedy, Chief Meteorologist, WZTV-FOX 17, Nashville.