Statewide Severe Weather & Sevier County WildfireTEMA FLASH REPORT #3
- Wildfire response and evacuee support continue in Sevier County.
- Storm-impacted counties begin assessing damage.
- SEOC operational in support of local needs and requests.
A severe storm front that impacted the entire state Wednesday has moved out of Tennessee and left behind cooler temps, mostly cloudy to partly cloudy skies, and calmer winds in the middle and west regions.
A very high risk of fire remains in East Tennessee where high winds and dry conditions in Sevier County quickly caused the expansion of a wildfire in the county’s Wears Valley. The wildfire itself led Sevier County officials to issue a series of mandatory evacuation orders Wednesday afternoon that eventually covered an area of 11,000 residential addresses.
The State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville remains activated and a State of Emergency is in place in Tennessee due to the continuing impact of the Sevier County wildfire, the existing fire potential, and the work occurring today with damage assessment occurring in West and Middle Tennessee counties impacted by the severe storm event.
SEVIER COUNTY WILDFIRE UPDATE
- Sevier County officials announced today the Wears Valley/Hatcher Mountain wildfire has impacted 3,700 acres and damaged approximately 100 homes.
- The Red Cross reports sheltering 120 people at the wildfire evacuee shelter located at the Pigeon Forge Community Center, 170 Community Center Drive in Pigeon Forge, and assisting more than 500 evacuees through the center since last night.
- Sevier County officials are also working to put in place resources and personnel to accept donations and coordinate volunteers. Financial donations to non-profit organizations. Such as the American Red Cross, who may be supporting the recovery effort are often the best way to aid those most in need.
- Local, state, and federal fire crews are conducting fire response operations today with support from the Tennessee National Guard, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Division of Forestry, Tennessee Dept. of Transportation, and US Forestry Service.
- Tennessee’s Fire Mutual Aid Network has coordinated additional fire resources to assist and support crews in Sevier County with the fire response. TMAS has coordinated the deployment of 29 engine companies, 26 tenders, 22 brush trucks, 11 fire support vehicles to Sevier County.
- The Tennessee Dept. of Health has confirmed one injury in Sevier County as a result of the wildfire.
SEVERE STORM UPDATE
- Counties in West and Middle Tennessee mostly reported power outages, downed trees, and some flooding as the severe storm front moved through yesterday afternoon and evening. As the weather has cleared impacted counties will be able to start assessing damage and the National Weather Service can coordinate its field surveys to determine any actual tornado touchdowns.
- Madison County seems to be the most severely storm-impacted county with multiple structures impacted to include the Sheriff’s Office, a nursing home, some businesses, and an outage to the county’s 9-1-1 fire dispatch, which has been restored.
Power outages, as of 12 p.m., Central, are 17,500 statewide:
Blount - 1,300 Campbell - 2,100 Knox - 7,000
Loudon - 1,000 Madison - 3,100 Monroe - 1,700
Roane - 1,000 Sevier - 2,800 Shelby - 2,000
- Monitor local news sources for updates on weather forecasts, and for any weather watches or warnings issued for your area.
- Have multiple options to receive weather information and emergency instructions.
- Follow the instructions of emergency officials and be ready to take cover in a severe weather situation, and to evacuate if mandated.
- Do not drive or walk through any high water – Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
- Do not attempt to move any downed power lines. Instead contact your local power company to report the damage or call 9-1-1 if it is an emergency situation.
- Memphis: Partly sunny and 56 today.
- Nashville: Cooler with a shower chance today and 55.
- Knoxville: Cloudy with a high of 69.
- Chattanooga: Sunny and cooler today with a high of 65.