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Tennessee lingering under a Level 3 State of Emergency

The following update is current as of 1 p.m., CST, from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency on the State of Emergency in Tennessee due to severe weather and hazardous road conditions.


Tennessee remains in a State of Emergency, declared at 9 p.m. on 2/16/15. About another inch of snow fell overnight between Nashville and the Kentucky border. Temperatures remain very cold.

Hazardous travel is expected this afternoon with the re-freezing of roadways overnight. Wind Chill Advisory in effect from 6 p.m. tonight to noon Thursday.

Tennessee now has six (6), confirmed, weather-related fatalities:

• Knox County: One (1) fatality, 30-year-old male, motor vehicle accident
• Overton County: One (1) fatality, 38-year-old female, motor vehicle accident
• Williamson County: Two (2) fatalities: 34-year-old female and 10-year-old male, motor vehicle accident
• Hamilton County: One (1) fatality, 63-year-old male, hypothermia related
• Shelby County: One (1) fatality, 48-year-old male, hypothermia related

There are 33,611 customers without power this afternoon, down from a high of about 59,000 last night with the highest numbers in: Monroe (10,665), Warren (3,200), Knox (2,334), Bedford (2,615), Sevier (1,523), Rhea (1,487), Hamblen (1,262) and Roane (1,161).

American Red Cross reports 8 shelters open in Tennessee.

State Agencies working the storm response at the State Emergency Operations Center and in the field include: Finance & Administration, Health, Human Services, National Guard, Tennessee Division of Forestry, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Department of Transportation and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. SEOC support is also being provided from the American Red Cross, FEMA, National Weather Service, Tennessee Valley Authority and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster.


There remains the potential for power outages to occur overnight in Tennessee. This can be a very hazardous situation with the expected record low temperatures. Follow these precautions:

• Stay indoors as much as possible.
• Be sure you have adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
• Have sufficient heating fuel in case you become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources are cut off.
• Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
• Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
• If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
• Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
• If you do go outside, watch for signs of frostbite (loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities) and hypothermia (uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion).
• Seek warm shelter and medical treatment immediately for frostbite and hypothermia symptoms.


1. Address life safety needs
2. Support local government requests for assistance
3. Continue to asses and address roadway conditions
4. Assist stranded motorists
5. Conduct sheltering operations when needed
6. Monitor changes in weather conditions
7. Assist with debris removal and management

Another arctic air mass will move into Tennessee Wednesday night with the coldest air of the season, bringing lows from 5 to -5 degrees and wind chills from -5 degrees across the Tennessee Valley and up to -25 degrees in the mountains. Wind Chill Advisory in effect till 6:00 p.m. tonight, wind gusts of 20-30 mph. Another winter storm is likely Thursday night through Friday night.