State Agencies Prepare for Winter Storm, Urge Citizens to Avoid Unnecessary Road Travel

Sunday, February 15, 2015 | 01:17pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) urge citizens to avoid unnecessary road travel on Monday as the state prepares for a severe winter storm. Motorists who must drive on Monday are advised to check local forecasts and road conditions before traveling.

Middle Tennessee will be under a Winter Storm Warning starting at 9 p.m., CST, Sunday until 6 a.m., CST, Monday. The National Weather Service is forecasting a wintry mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain at Tennessee's border with Alabama.  Along Tennessee's border with Kentucky, six inches to 10 inches of snow is possible.  The Nashville area could see between three and seven inches of snow accumulation. A wintery mix of sleet and ice is predicted for west Tennessee. Sleet and accumulating snow is expected to continue into east Tennessee throughout the day.


The state is taking precautions ahead of the winter storm.  “We are monitoring the developing weather situation at the State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville,” TEMA Deputy Commissioner David Purkey said.  “Our regional staff is in contact with all local emergency management agencies to support their needs and respond to any requests for assistance.” 


“We have a difficult task ahead of us over the next 24 hours,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “Our crews will be out in force, and our primary focus initially will be on the interstate system. We will begin clearing secondary routes as quickly as we can. We will work until the job is done, but this will likely be a sustained effort through Monday into Tuesday. We ask motorists to please limit travel during this period.”


“We have placed all Tennessee Highway Patrol strike teams on standby so troopers will not only be ready to respond to roadside emergencies and crashes, they will also be prepared to assist local emergency management officials and first responders, if necessary,” Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.


Some reminders for motorists who must travel under severe winter weather conditions:


·         Call 511 before traveling into areas affected by severe winter weather for updates from TDOT on hazardous roadway conditions.

·         Call *THP (*847) from any mobile phone if your vehicle gets stranded to be connected to the closest Tennessee Highway Patrol dispatcher who can send help.


·         Call 911 in the event of an emergency.


·         If your vehicle becomes stranded or you are involved in an accident, stay with your vehicle until help arrives.

·         Monitor local radio and television broadcasts, and NOAA Weather Radio, for updates on weather conditions.

·         Travel with emergency supplies, including blankets, water, a windshield scraper, a flash light with fresh batteries, jumper cables and a first aid kit.

·         Ensure your vehicle has plenty of fuel and that tires are properly inflated.  

·         Use extreme caution and take the roadways that have been treated with salt or brine. 

·         Always wear a seat belt and make sure all passengers are properly restrained in the vehicle at all times.


The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee. 

TEMA's mission,, is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders.


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