Wolf Creek Dam Plan

Sumner County and Sumner County Emergency Management have the highest regard for the safety and well being of its citizens. The following information serves as a brief overview of the extensive plan developed by Sumner County Emergency Management along with the cities of Gallatin, Goodlettsville and Hendersonville.

In the unlikely event of a dam failure the following responses would be tremendous, therefore we encourage each citizen to prepare for the failure and any other disasters that may occur. Sumner County Emergency Management provides a class called “CERT” to citizens and groups free of charge. This class teaches disaster prep, light search and rescue, fire suppression, disaster first-aid and triage, and utility shut-off. Please contact Sumner Emergency Management at 452-7584 or sumnercert@sumnerema.org for more information, you could also look at www.ready.gov.

We also encourage citizens such as elderly or persons with disabilities to contact a family or friend to plan for assistance in the event of a failure. If you have no family or friends in the area contact your local emergency services for further assistance.

Notification of Residents

Upon receipt of notification that the Wolf Creek Dam has failed the plan incorporates a time frame of 15 (fifteen) to 72 (seventy two) hours from notification to full evacuation of affected areas. During this time emergency responders will go into affected areas and announce an evacuation script over a public address system, these emergency responders will also be confirming evacuations of all structures. The notifications will start at areas that models show to be affected first and move to the next area in the time frame according to U.S. Corps of Engineers modeling. Once the affected areas have been evacuated, the roads into affected areas will be closed to only responder access.

Notifications will occur in the following manner:

  1. NOAA weather radio alert broadcast
  2. Television and Radio media emergency broadcasts
  3. Emergency Vehicles broadcasting evacuation orders over P.A. and alternating sirens
  4. Routing of school busses along roads in flood zones several times to pick up residents who do not have a means of transportation.

Response by Sumner County Emergency Services

Sumner County emergency responders will conduct all operations based on the “green” shaded areas of the Corps inundation maps. The inundation areas will be constantly observed for any changes and the plans will be upgraded or downgraded accordingly.


All government agencies of Sumner County will be utilized to provide notifications and assist with evacuations. The traffic routes will flow as normal, unless it is determined that a change needs to occur to accommodate smoother or more rapid evacuation. Plans exist if this change needs to occur that would involve one-way traffic and manual traffic control.


The Tennessee Department of Transportation has performed a road analysis to assess which  roads may be submerged or topped with water in the event of a dam failure. These submerged roadways may require closing several hours or days after initial notification and should not interfere with evacuations. Emergency equipment will be staged in areas that could become inaccessible after water rise to provide emergency services such as fire protection and security.

Shelters For Evacuees

Shelters will be established and maintained by the American Red Cross. Sumner County emergency services will provide security, medical response and fire protection for these shelters.

Water, Electric, and Sewage Services

The Sumner County Emergency Management has met with these service providers for Sumner County; the providers have determined that based on information provided for inundation level mapping by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, these services should be operational. The services may be discontinued in single structures or small grids as in any storm or ice event.


A curfew to all non-emergency personnel may be issued in Sumner County from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. if deemed necessary. Sumner County would also work with the State of Tennessee to determine the need for Martial Law.

School Closures

Upon official notification of the dam failure all schools, public and private, will be closed. This closing will be handled like any school closing as a result of snow or other event. The Sumner County School Board will make available the school closing plans and procedures. Remember that the time from notification of dam failure to water inundation is at a minimum 18 hours to a couple of days. There should be sufficient time for parents to arrange for child pick up and evacuations conducted.

The schools will remain closed until government officials determine it is safe to reopen the schools.

Animal Sheltering

Arrangements will be made for the sheltering of domesticated animals. The Sumner County Emergency Management will work with our private partners, Sumner County Animal Control, State of Tennessee and U.S. Humane Society to provide this sheltering.

Additional Information

This information is intended to be updated based upon emerging information and ideas. This information is malleable, and intended to be changed when new or updated information becomes available.