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TEMA FLASH REPORT #4 – Tornado and Severe Weather Event

Tuesday, March 03, 2020 | 05:20pm

Updated at 8 p.m., CST, to revise the total storm-related fatalities in Tennessee to 24 confirmed, with 18 confirmed fatalities reported in Putnam County. This follows an update from Putnam County indicating its original report of 19 fatalities to the SEOC included one fatality that was not storm related.  

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Severe weather and tornados have impacted several counties in Tennessee. Counties with the greatest impacts include; Davidson, Wilson, and Putnam Counties.
  • The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan (TEMP) with an all-hands response from state emergency officials and activation of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
  • A State of Emergency has been declared in Tennessee. At this level, a serious emergency or disaster has occurred and TEMA is coordinating with local and state partners.
  • At this time, the Tennessee Department of Health has 24 confirmed fatalities.
  • Governor Bill Lee is providing guidance at the SEOC.
  • Primary Day – Secretary of State is in contact with local election officials and TEMA. Coordination of resources to support elections is ongoing.
  • At this time, the primary mission is life-safety and search and rescue. Currently the number of injuries and damaged structures is unknown.

CURRENT SITUATION

Starting on Mar. 2, a line of severe storms passed through Tennessee and has caused major damage to buildings, roads, bridges, utilities and businesses in several counties. Tornado damage has been reported throughout West and Middle Tennessee including downtown Nashville, TN.

IMPACTS

  • Power – Current reported power outages
    • Davidson County is reporting approximately 44,500 without power. NES estimates power will be restored by tomorrow afternoon.
    • Wilson County is reporting approximately 11,500 without power
    • Upper Cumberland (Putnam County and Jackson County) should be fully restored by sunset tonight
  • Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed 25 fatalities
  • Unknown number of injuries
  • Currently 5 open shelters in Tennessee
  •  Damage assessments are ongoing
  • Road assessments are ongoing
  •   Utilities
    • Water and wastewater utilities are operational, some are running on backup generators.

RESPONSE ACTIONS

State

  • Emergency Service Coordinators and Liaisons with numerous state and local partners and non-governmental organizations are reporting to the SEOC to coordinate response actions and damage assessments.
  • Due to severe weather, state offices will be closed in the following counties: Davidson, Wilson, Putnam, Carroll, Benton, Fentress, Overton, and Smith. If able, employees should follow AWS procedures to assure the state continues to service its citizens. At this time, only essential personnel should report to duty.

Health

  •  At this time the Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed 25 fatalities.

o    18 fatalities in Putnam County

o    3 fatalities in Wilson County

o    2 fatalities in Davidson County

o    1 fatality in Benton County.

  • Tennessee Department of Health is coordinating with local partners to provide resources.

Transportation

  • I-40 has reopened traffic in both eastbound and westbound directions.
  • TDOT is coordinating with TEMA to provide resources as needed.
  • Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is coordinating to deploy resources in Wilson County and Putnam County.
  • THP is assisting local law enforcement and providing logistical support.
  •  THP will assist in disseminating warnings, keeping people out of threatened areas, and facilitate evacuations through controlling and directing traffic.

Schools

  • Davidson and Wilson Counties are reporting several schools with significant damage.
  • The Tennessee Department of Education is working to establish relocation plans for impacted schools.

Shelter

  • Currently there are 5 open shelters in Tennessee.
  • 3 American Red Cross Shelters
    • Centennial Sportsplex, 222 25th Ave N., Nashville, TN
    • First Baptist Church, 18 South Walnut Ave., Cookeville, TN
    • East High School, 110 Gallatin Ave., Nashville, TN
  • 2 Shelters in Wilson County
    • Victory Baptist Church, 1777 Tate Ln, Mt. Juliet, TN
    • Highland Heights Church of Christ, 505 N. Cumberland, Lebanon, TN

PROTECTIVE ACTIONS/KEY MESSAGES

  • Let loved ones know your safe by checking in on social media or sending a text.
  • Refrain from driving to keep available streets and roads clear for emergency personnel.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings or hazardous locations.
  • Continue to monitor radio and television broadcasts for further emergency information and instructions.
  • For the most current information, please visit the TEMA website at tn.gov/tema

FORECAST

Memphis: Rain expected until 7:00 a.m. CST. High of 64 and a low of 51.

Nashville: Scattered storms throughout the morning with a high of 66 and a low of 41. Rain expected until 1:00 p.m. CST.

Knoxville:  Scattered storms and rain expected until this evening. High of 69 and a low of 44.