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June 27, 2017

Statement from TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan on the Sevier County Juvenile Court’s ruling concerning open records.


“TEMA, working through legal counsel and with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, requested the ruling from the Sevier County Juvenile Court to clarify what records we could share without violating or being in contempt of the Court’s original order to withhold records. We did this to ensure we would not endanger any ongoing investigations and prosecutions, nor interfere with the right of the accused to receive a fair trial under law.


As soon as the Court ruling was issued, TEMA in conjunction with our legal office, began gathering records for the purpose of reviewing for confidentiality, responsiveness, and potential cost estimates to respond to the multiple requests we have received.


These requests cover a large period of time and comprise thousands of records, many of which are not centrally located, that TEMA must collect from across the State and review.


TEMA continues to work as quickly as possible to respond to all current and future requests for records.”


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and, at www.tnema.org.

May 22, 2017

Tennessee’s Rescue Squads Recognized for Life-Saving Volunteerism


NASHVILLE, Tenn.Tennessee Rescue Squad Week is May 21 to May 27, 2017, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is honoring the dedication of the hundreds of men and women in rescue squads across the state for their vital assistance and service.


“Tennessee’s rescue squads risk their lives to save the lives of others every day,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “We are fortunate to have such extremely-qualified, well-trained, and unselfishly-dedicated professionals in communities across the state promoting the organized rescue and first aid movement.”


The Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads (TARS) says there are 95 rescue squads with 3,700 individual members in the state.


Since its initial charter in 1955, TARS accomplishments include the development of regional teams specializing in specific rescue disciplines, the expansion of rescue training from basic courses, such as vehicle extraction, to advanced work in swift-water rescues, and the acquisition of equipment and resources available for regional or statewide deployment.


“As we celebrate Tennessee Rescue Squad Week, I would like to thank all TARS members for their commitment and dedication to serving their fellow man,“ said TARS Executive Director Stacy Rhodes. “Living in the Volunteer State our members are the true definition of volunteers as they serve this state every hour of every day all year long.”


Kingsport, Tenn. organized the state’s first rescue squad in 1948, and received its state charter in 1950. Johnson City, Tenn. followed in 1949 and also received its state charter in 1950. Members from these squads were instrumental in organizing many other Tennessee rescue squads.


On Jan. 14, 1955, representatives of rescue squads from the Tennessee cities of Kingsport, Johnson City, Elizabethton, Greeneville, and Oak Ridge, met to organize a statewide association to promote rescue and first aid work. TARS is now in its 62nd year as a voluntary, non-profit organization of rescue squads.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and, at www.tnema.org.


About the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads: TARS is an association of life saving, rescue, and first aid units with members organized, trained, and equipped, for various types of rescue and first aid work. TARS members voluntarily give their time and effort without compensation to the development of accident prevention and first aid procedures, the widespread education of the public in such procedures, and to necessary rescue and first aid work. More information is at www.tnars.org.

March 8, 2017

List of Alternate Emergency Numbers in Tennessee


AT&T is reporting it has resolved the service outage in Tennessee impacting wireless calls to 9-1-1.


Working with the State of Tennessee’s Emergency Communications Board, TEMA compiled the following regional, county-by-county, list of alternate numbers for emergency calls.


This can be used as a resource in case there are lingering service issues and for future reference.

West Tennessee:

Benton County: (731) 279-4280
Carroll County: (731) 986-8947
Chester County: (731) 989-2787
Crockett County: (731) 696-2104 Option 3
Decatur County: (731) 852-3911
Dyer County: (731) 285-4019
Fayette County: (901) 465-3456
Gibson County: (731) 692-3714
Hardeman County: (731) 658-3871
Hardin County: (731) 925-9007
Haywood County: (731) 772-1215
Henry County: (731) 642-2424
Lake County: (731) 253-7791
Lauderdale County: (731) 635-1311
Madison County: (731) 423-6098
McNairy County: (731) 645-3406
Obion County: (731) 885-1515 (731) 885-7935
Shelby County: (901) 222-6700

Bartlett: (901) 385-5555
Millington: (901) 872- 3333
Collierville: (901) 853-3207
Shelby County Sheriff’s Office: (901) 379-7625
Shelby County Fire: (901) 222-8000
Memphis: (901) 458-3311

Tipton County: (901) 475-4300
Weakley County: (731) 364-5454

Middle Tennessee

BentonCounty: (931) 684-3411
Cannon County: (615) 563-4322
Cheatham County: (615) 792-2098
Clay County: (931) 243-3266
Coffee County: (931) 728-9555
Davidson County: (615) 862-8530 (Metro Nashville OEM)

Nashville Police: (615) 862-8600

DeKalb County: (615) 215-3000
Dickson County: (615) 446-8041
Franklin County: (931) 967-3849
Giles County: (931) 363-0911
Grundy County: (931) 924-2077 (931) 924-2079 (931) 924-2081
Hickman County: (931) 729-5146
Houston County: (931) 729-5146
Humphreys County: (931) 296-2301 (931) 296-7792
Jackson County: (931) 268-0180
Lawrence County (931) 762-0450
Lewis County: (931) 796-3616
Lincoln County: (931) 433-4522
Macon County: (615) 666-3325
Marshall County: (931) 359-4044 (931) 359-4556
Maury County: (931) 381-3501

Spring Hill: (931) 486-3269

Montgomery County: (931) 552-1011
Moore County: (931) 759-7323
Overton County: (931) 823-8593 (931) 823-6401
Perry County: (931) 589-3911
Putnam County: (931) 528-1555
Robertson County: (615) 384-4911
Rutherford County: (615) 898-7770
Smith County: (615) 735-2121
Stewart County: (931) 232-5322
Sumner County: (615) 442-1811
Trousdale County: (615) 374-3994
VanBuren County: (931) 946-4357
Warren County: (931) 668-7000
Wayne County: (931) 722-3613 Option 1
White County: (931) 738-7111
Williamson County: (615) 790-5757

Franklin: (615) 794-2513
Fairview: (615) 799-2435

Wilson County: (615) 444-8777 Option 0 (615) 449-7610 (615) 449-7243

East Tennessee

Anderson County: (865) 457-2414
Bledsoe County: (423) 447-5555
Blount County: (865) 983-3620
Bradley County: (423) 476-7511 Option 0
Campbell County: (423) 562-8095
Carter County: (423) 542-1845
Claiborne County: (423) 626-3121 Option 2
Cocke County: (423) 623-3064
Cumberland County: (931) 484-6176
Fentress County: (931) 879-8142
Grainger County: (865) 828-3337
Greene County: (423) 638-8663
Hamblen County: (423) 585-2701
Hamilton County: (423) 622-7777

Chattanooga Police Department: (423) 698-2525
Collegedale Police Department: (423) 396-3133
East Ridge Police Department: (423) 611-1725
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department: (423) 622-0022
Red Bank Police Department: (423) 877-2481
Signal Mountain Police Department: (423) 886-2123

Hancock County: (423) 733-2250
Hawkins County: (423) 272-7121
Jefferson County: (865) 475- 3492
Johnson County: (423) 727-7761 Option 1
Knox County: (865) 215-4010
Loudon County: (865) 458-9081
Marion County: (423) 942-2525
McMinn County: (423) 745-3222
Meigs County: (423) 334-5268
Monroe County: (423) 442-4357
Morgan County: (423) 346-0911 Option 5
Pickett County: (931) 864-3210
Polk County: (423) 338-8215
Rhea County: (423) 775-2442
Roane County: (865) 354-8045
Scott County: (423) 663-2245
Sequatchie County: (423) 949-9912
Sevier County: (865) 774-3908
Sullivan County: (423) 323-3503
Unicoi County: (423) 743-1850
Union County: (865) 992-4062
Washington County: (423) 928-8847


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

February 28, 2017

TEMA Watching Severe Weather Threat in Tennessee


Severe weather expected across Tennessee over the next 24 to 48 hours. Be sure you stay informed as to weather conditions and threats in your area of Tennessee, and be ready to take cover if necessary.

West: http://www.weather.gov/meg/
Middle: http://www.weather.gov/ohx/
East: http://www.weather.gov/mrx/
Huntsville, AL: http://www.weather.gov/hun/

TEMA is monitoring the severe weather threat in our 24-hour watch point in Nashville, in contact with National Weather Service offices across the state, and standing ready to assist local jurisdictions with resource requests if the weather situation escalates.

About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

February 22, 2017

Tennessee Officials, Meteorologists Promoting Preparedness for Severe Weather Awareness Week


Tennessee’s Severe Weather Awareness Week is Feb. 26, to Mar. 4, 2017, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), and the National Weather Service (NWS) are asking Tennesseans to make severe weather planning and preparedness a priority.


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Severe Weather Awareness Week proclamation is online at: http://tnsos.net/publications/proclamations/files/1159.pdf.


“One of TEMA’s priorities is to help Tennesseans have access to information to ensure they can prepare for any variety of man-made, natural, and technological hazards or disasters,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “While severe weather, especially tornadoes, can occur any time in Tennessee, they are most common during the spring months of March, April, and May. We want Tennesseans and our visitors to pay attention to and understand the weather, ensure they have multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings, and have a plan to get themselves and their loved ones to safety when severe weather warnings are issued.”

TEMA will be hosting a Facebook Live event at 10 a.m., CST, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, as part of the agency’s effort to help Tennesseans understand the hazards and threats of severe weather. TDH and NWS representatives will also participate in Facebook Live session at www.facebook.com/TNDisasterInfo.


NWS Awareness and Education Events

NWS offices in Nashville, Memphis, Morristown, and Huntsville, Ala. are planning a series of education and training events, using each day of Severe Weather Awareness Week to focus on a different severe weather threat. Information on the NWS activities is available at www.weather.gov/ohx/swaw2017.


“Although it seems the past two springs have been relatively quiet as far as severe weather, all Tennesseans know that it’s not if we’re going to see severe weather, but merely when,” said Krissy Hurley, warning coordination meteorologist at NWS Nashville.


A highlight of the week will be the statewide tornado drill NWS will conduct at 9:30 a.m., CST, on Wed., Mar. 1. The drill will also include a statewide test of NOAA weather radios.


Be Ready, Make a Plan, Have a Kit

TDH urges Tennesseans to make emergency plans now before a flood, tornado, or other threat is imminent, so they have time to decide what actions they should take to protect themselves.


“Like the slogan says: be ready, make a plan and have a kit. We want to be proactive don’t we, taking a little time before a weather emergency is coming to start thinking about what we need to do to protect ourselves and the people and places we love?” said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “That way we are ready whether we ‘saw it coming’ or not, and isn’t that the best way to keep everyone safe?”


TDH recommends thinking about the weather events in your area or while you travel and making a plan before the crisis comes. It is best to write it down but at a minimum, talk with your family about where you’ll meet, how you’ll communicate and where to go if you need to evacuate or can’t return home. Put an emergency kit together so you’re ready in the event of severe weather.


The most important preparedness tip for severe weather is to stay informed to its potential. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV or listen to the radio for weather updates and warnings.


Other severe weather awareness tips and resources include:

• Never venture into high water, either on foot or in a vehicle.
• If you’re outside and hear thunder, go indoors immediately.
• Go to a basement or an innermost, first floor room in your home if you’re told to take shelter during a tornado warning.
• Know the location of and route to your office or building’s tornado shelter.
• Never try to outrun a tornado.
• Have an emergency plan ready at places where your family spends time – work, school, daycare, commuting and outdoor events.
• Emergency plans should include where to meet, and who family members should check in with, if you are separated from family members during a severe weather emergency.


At a minimum, emergency preparedness kits should include one gallon of water per-day, per-person, and per-pet, for three to five days. The kit should also have enough non-perishable food for each family member, and pets, for three to five days.


Other items that every kit should include: flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, personal hygiene items, cell phone charger or solar charger, and copies of important family documents.


It is also very important that emergency kits contain extra supplies of medications, especially for those with chronic health conditions.


Online Preparedness Resources

A number of websites provide resources to help with the creation of emergency plans. The website, https://www.ready.gov/ and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, https://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/, have information, fill-in-the-blank documents, and other resources to help individuals and families assemble the basic components needed for personal emergency plans.


The U.S. Small Business Administration has emergency preparedness information for businesses at www.sba.gov/managing-business/running-business/emergency-preparedness. The Ready website also includes a workplace preparedness section at https://www.ready.gov/workplace-plans.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

February 10, 2017

Deadline approaching for Sevier County wildfire survivors to register for FEMA disaster assistance, SBA loan programs.


The deadline for individuals to register for FEMA disaster assistance is Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. Disaster survivors may register for FEMA assistance the following ways:

– Online at DisasterAssistance.gov (also in Spanish).
– Download the FEMA mobile app (also in Spanish).
– Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. Toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Help is available in most languages.


The Gatlinburg disaster recovery center, 156 Proffitt Road, ends operations at 6 p.m., EST, today. After the center closes, disaster survivors whose homes or businesses were affected by the wildfires can still get updates through the FEMA helpline or website, about applications, learn about the appeals process or check the status of their claims.


Sevier County wildfire survivors also have until Monday, Feb. 13, to complete and submit loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for physical property damage. The deadline for Sevier County businesses to submit loan applications for economic injury is Sept. 15, 2017.


Survivors may apply online using the electronic loan application via SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.


Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s customer service center by calling 800-659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.


Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339. For more disaster assistance information or to download applications, visit sba.gov/disaster.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

January 25, 2017

TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan Statement on After-Action Review of the Sevier County Wildfires


Statement from TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan for news media on questions regarding after-action review of the Sevier County wildfire.


“The Sevier County wildfire is the most catastrophic wildland-urban interface fire event in the history of Tennessee, and the most devastating fire in the state since the 1916 East Nashville fire. While TEMA and its partners have had initial, internal discussions on how to proceed with our after-action review, we are mindful that the wildfire’s historical impact and consequences, requires our evaluation to be thorough and of both the response and recovery operations, and include input from all organizations and jurisdictions that have played a role in either phase.


Following the fire and severe weather, TEMA staff transitioned quickly from response to recovery operations. Recovery operations continue in Sevier County and the storm impacted counties to this day. Many state, local, non-governmental, and federal personnel who would be critical to any comprehensive after-action, and this includes TEMA staff, are spending weeks-at-a-time in Sevier County focused on the community’s recovery.


For context on the timing of after-action completion, previous reviews following major disasters in Tennessee have taken months to complete. For example, the after-action review covering response and interoperable communications during the May 2010 Tennessee Flood, was finalized In November of 2010, six months following the onset of the disaster. In 2011, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency conducted an after-action review for the five federally declared Major Disasters; that review was completed in late-August 2011, also six months after the first disaster that year struck Tennessee. Neither of those after-action reviews included an evaluation of recovery operations, which we believe is critically important to include in our Sevier County wildfire after-action, and which may add time to the assessment’s completion.


Additionally, any release of an after-action review will be subject to the requirement currently in place from the Sevier County District Attorney to hold records subject to Rule 16 of the Tennessee rules of criminal procedure due to the on-going criminal investigation into the wildfire. This action has been coordinated with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office.


Finally, it is important to recognize the ongoing commitment, dedication, and hard work of the many local, state, non-governmental, federal agency personnel and volunteers that remain engaged in Sevier County getting Tennesseans the help they need, coordinating disaster programs with FEMA, and working with local officials to support long-term recovery.”


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

December 16, 2016

Sevier County Residents Urged To Register For Disaster Assistance


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Individuals affected by the recent wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee, are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.


Individuals who had losses in the wildfires in Sevier County can begin the disaster application process by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.


Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other disaster-related serious needs, such as medical and dental expenses, funeral costs, or other necessary expenditures. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may also be available to homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance.


Sevier County residents should register with FEMA even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but under-insured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.


Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if the person has registered with another disaster-relief organization.


Applicants will be asked for the following information:

• Name as it appears on Social Security card
• Social Security number
• Address of the damaged home or apartment
• Description of the damage
• Information about insurance coverage
• A current contact telephone number
• A mailing address
• Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.


Federal funding is also available to the state, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work. Information on application procedures will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings, to be scheduled in the near future.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.


Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.


FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.


December 15, 2016

Immediate Release: Sevier County Will Receive Federal Disaster Assistance for Wildfire Recovery


Additional Aid, Other Counties May be Awarded as Damage Assessments Continue


Nashville, Tenn.Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced this evening Sevier County will receive federal aid assistance through a Presidential Disaster Declaration as the county begins its recovery from the devastating wildfires of Nov. 28, 2016.


“This deadly wildfire required a coordinated response from many individuals and organizations,” Haslam said. “The outpouring of care, relief, and support from around the world for Sevier County and its people has been extraordinary. This assistance from the federal government will help relieve some of the financial burden of this disaster on Tennesseans and Sevier County.”


In his federal disaster assistance request of President Obama on Dec. 9, 2016, Gov. Haslam also asked for the disaster declaration to include four counties – Coffee, McMinn, Polk, and Sequatchie – hit with severe weather and tornadoes on Nov. 29, 2016.


FEMA’s disaster declaration this evening indicated the awarding of any additional aid types or inclusion of other jurisdictions will be contingent on further joint preliminary damage assessments.


Through the Presidential Disaster Declaration, designated as FEMA-4293-DR, Sevier County is eligible for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Individual Assistance and Public Assistance programs.


The Individual Assistance program provides financial help or direct services to disaster survivors who have eligible expenses and serious needs, if they cannot meet those needs through other means. More information on FEMA’s Individual Assistance program is at: https://www.fema.gov/individual-disaster-assistance.


FEMA’s Public Assistance program will allow Sevier County government entities and certain private non-profits to apply for reimbursement of specific, eligible expenses for debris removal and emergency protective measures. More information on FEMA’s Public Assistance program is at: https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit.


On Nov. 28, wildfires rapidly spread through Sevier County, causing mandatory evacuations of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The wildfires caused 14 fatalities and damaged or destroyed more than 2,400 structures in Sevier County. Storms and tornadoes on Nov. 29, 2016, caused two fatalities, and damaged or destroyed numerous structures throughout southeast Tennessee.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

December 8, 2016

TEMA Update on Sevier County Recover, 12-8-16, 3 p.m., CST


HIGHLIGHTS

• A Level III – State of Emergency (in place since Nov. 10, 2016) remains in effect as Sevier County begins a path to recovery, tornado damage is six counties is still under assessment, and areas of Tennessee continue to experience extreme drought conditions.

• Damage assessment ongoing with Sevier County officials.

• Damage assessments also are being compiled in counties reporting from the severe overnight storms and tornadoes on Nov. 29, 2016.

• Gatlinburg officials expect to welcome public back into the city Friday.

• Even with the recent rains, there remains extreme drought conditions, and threat of wildfires, in some areas of Tennessee.


SEVIER COUNTY RECOVERY INFORMATION


CURRENT SITUATION
TEMA’s East Region office in Knoxville and State Emergency Operations Center staff in Nashville are supporting recovery efforts in Sevier County, with emphasis now on the recovery phase of the mission, and projects to conduct a thorough damage assessment from the wildfire and support local officials with resource requests.


Gatlinburg allowed property owners, business owners, renters and lease holders back into the city on Wed., Dec. 7, 2016. A curfew will be in effect tonight from 10 p.m., EST, until 6 a.m. EST, Friday.


At 7 a.m., EST, the City of Gatlinburg plans to re-open to the general public. Major roadways should be open but some city roads may be closed for utility work.


Also, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park also is working to re-open park roadways on Friday. US 441, Newfound Gap Road, will open from the Gatlinburg Entrance to Cherokee, NC and Little River Road will be open from Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Wye near Townsend, TN. The Gatlinburg Bypass and Cherokee Orchard Road will remain closed as will all trails within the fire area. The Spur, between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, will be open to the public tomorrow.


Fire management teams continue to work the Chimney Tops 2 fire, at 17,006 acres, and the Cobbly Nob fire at 819 acres. Containment is 82 percent on Chimney Tops 2 and to 89 percent on Cobbly Nob. Some heat still exists within the fire perimeter and smoke may be visible from these areas from time to time. Firefighters will continue to patrol and mop up any hot spots that may be a threat to the containment lines or structures. The area will continue to be monitored and patrolled.


TEMA continues working with Sevier County officials to conduct a thorough damage assessment. County officials estimate the wildfire damaged or destroyed more than 2,460 structures.


The American Red Cross continues its shelter mission in Sevier County with 93 occupants at its Rocky Top Sports Park shelter and 19 occupants at the Pigeon Forge Community Center.


Just around 780 people remain without power in Sevier County with crews working continuously to restore.


SEVIER COUNTY RESOURCES

• A joint press release on Wednesday provides information resources to returning Gatlinburg residents on what they may encounter upon returning to their property permanently. The release is at: http://www.tnema.org/news/tema/?p=2789.

• Sevier County has launched an official recovery website, www.mountaintough.org and a hotline to serve as a single resource for information related to the recent wildfires in Sevier County. The hotline number for local residents is 2-1-1 and 865-215-4211 for callers outside the local area. The call center is open Monday – Friday 7:00am to 6:00pm.

• The State of Tennessee also maintains a Sevier County resource page at http://www.tn.gov/governor/news/sevier-county-resource-page for information on assistance the State of Tennessee and many non-governmental organizations are providing to residents and business, and to those who want to help the wildfire survivors.

• The State Office of Vital Records will have representatives on location at the Big Red Barn and Rocky Top shelter through Friday December 9, 2016 from 9:00 AM ET- site closing to issue birth, death, marriage and divorce records for events that occurred in TN at no charge. Driver’s license, passport, or any other documents available may be presented for identification; however, if none is available an attestation statement may be signed by the requestor. Certified copies will be issued onsite. People may also call 855-809-0072 for assistance. Plans are also in place for onsite assistance two days next week. https://www.tn.gov/health/article/vr-certificate#sthash.cbPmgwI7.dpuf

• The Tennessee Department of Health is now providing free testing of home wells and similar water sources for some Gatlinburg-area residents who have been directly impacted by the drought and wildfires. Testing will occur in phases to accommodate most urgent needs first. Phase one will be for those persons returning to homes in the next few weeks that have a functioning well. Phase two will be for those whose homes and property suffered more severe damage, with structures requiring more extensive repair/restoration before they can be habitable. Information about testing eligibility may be obtained by calling the Tennessee Department of Health toll-free 866-327-9105 or sending an email to ep.response@tn.gov.

December 7, 2016

Joint Release: Re-Entry Resource Information for Gatlinburg Property Owners


Joint News Release: Sevier County, City of Gatlinburg, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency


Resource Information for City/County Property Reentry
December 7, 2016


Contact:
Perrin Anderson, panderson@seviercountytn.org, 865-441-0866
Marci Claude, marci@gatlinburg.com, 865-964-1282
Dean Flener, dflener@tnema.org, 615-741-0430


Gatlinburg, TN – On Wednesday, December 7, property owners, business owners, renters and lease holders are allowed to return to full-time occupancy of their properties. Federal, State and local officials have worked hard to make sure that areas affected by the wildfire will be safe for reentry. As citizens transition back into areas affected by wildfires, please be aware of the following safety tips and resources available.


Personal Safety
As you return home you may find debris, exposed electrical wires, smoldering materials, unstable structures, and other hazards. Please examine all areas of your property before allowing children and pets into those areas. More tips can be found at #ChimneyTops2Fires and #cobblynobfire Facebook page.


Clean Up
Ash from structure fires can contain hazardous materials. Tips for cleaning up ash include: To avoid spreading ash in the air wet down ash before attempting removal or use a HEPA-type vacuum cleaner to clean dust contaminated surfaces. Do not use leaf blowers, a shop vacuum or wash ash into storm drains. Ash can be placed into garbage bags or other containers that prevent it from being disturbed. You may want to wear an N95 face mask to protect exposure to ash particles and wash exposed skin thoroughly afterwards. For more information about ash cleanup and other potential hazards: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/cleanupworkers.html


Sanitation Service
Gatlinburg residential and household waste pickup is running as scheduled in accessible areas.


Water
Water supplies have been greatly affected by firefighting activities. The substantial loss of water in certain storage tanks and water lines may cause water to appear cloudy or discolored for a period of time. Running a substantial amount of water through all outlets in the plumbing system should expel the discoloration. If you have questions about your water service, please call the Gatlinburg Water Department 436-4681. County water customers on Birds Creek who have questions about their water service can call Sevier County Water Department at 865-744-3852.


Electricity
The Sevier County Electric System has worked hard to reinstate power and continues to reconstruct destroyed power systems in some neighborhoods. While many areas have been cleared of downed power lines and had power restored, new situations may arise where power has been lost or lines come down. Remember: never cross downed powered lines. Please report downed powerlines to Sevier County Electric system at 865-453-2887.


Gas
If you smell gas on your property, call Sevier County Utility District immediately. Be aware that damaged propane tanks could be leaking after a fire. Do not transport leaking propane tanks in your car or dispose of the tank in the trash. If you smell gas or detect a leaking propane tank call 911 or report the leak to the Sevier County Utility District 24-hour emergency line 865-453-3272.


Food Safety
Loss of power to refrigeration and freezer units can cause food to spoil. Immediately discard cooked and uncooked foods that may have spoiled. If food looks bad or smells bad, throw it out. When in doubt, throw it out. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/


Animals
Please beware that lost pets may be in the area. They may be frightened and possibly dangerous. The Sevier County Human Society has set up an animal care center at the Sevier County Fairgrounds. To report lost or missing pets call the Sevier County Humane Society at 865-453-7000.


Safety and Security
The Department of Safety and Homeland Security is dedicated to providing assistance to those impacted by the unfortunate disaster.


The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) will continue to assist local law enforcement and state agencies in the recovery process. Currently, we are providing public safety to the residents as they re-enter the Gatlinburg area. Please be mindful for the potential of looters. If you detect criminal activity call 911.


Replacing Lost Driver licenses or State issued Identification
Tennessee Driver Services Division continues to work with residents who lost their license or identification card. Tennessee citizens can apply for a duplicate license at the Sevier County Driver Services Center. The center is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The center is located at 1220 Graduate Drive, Sevierville, TN.


The driver services mobile unit will be parked at the Coordination Center located at The Boyd’s Bear Distribution Center at 149 Cates Lane in Pigeon Forge, TN on Wednesday, December 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Boyd’s Bear Distribution Center Resources
The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and the Department of Labor continue to provide consumer information at Boyd’s Bear Distribution Center at 149 Cates Lane in Pigeon Forge, TN. Citizens can speak with representatives about filing insurance claims, building permits, unemployment benefits and replacing lost driver’s licenses and State issued ID’s.


Local Recovery Website and Hotline
Sevier County has launched an official recovery website, www.mountaintough.org and a hotline to serve as a single resource for information related to the recent wildfires in Sevier County. The hotline number for local residents is 2-1-1 and 865-215-4211 for callers outside the local area. The call center is open Monday – Friday 7:00am to 6:00pm.

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About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

December 6, 2016

Sevier County Launches Recovery Website & Hotline for Disaster Relief


PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
December 6, 2016


CONTACT
Allen Newton, Executive Director
Emily Whaley, Assistant Director
(865) 428-2212


OFFICIAL SEVIER COUNTY GOVERNMENT WEBSITE AND RECOVERY HOTLINE ESTABLISHED FOR DISASTER RELIEF


Sevierville, Tennessee – The Sevier County Economic Development Council, in conjunction with Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, announce the creation of www.mountaintough.org. The website was named for something that Mike Werner, Mayor of Gatlinburg said, “We are Mountain Tough, and we have a strong, strong faith in God.” This website will serve as a one-stop-shop for information related to the recent wildfires in Sevier County.


County officials have also collaborated with United Way of Greater Knoxville to announce the transition of all Sevier County wildfire recovery-related calls to East Tennessee 2-1-1. Local residents can dial 2-1-1 toll free, and concerned citizens outside the local area can dial 865-215-4211. The call center will operate Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST.


The www.mountaintough.org website and 2-1-1 can provide current and accurate information on the following:

• Non-profit organizations that are accepting monetary donations and information on those organizations.
• How do you contribute in-kind donations such as food, clothing, toys and school supplies.
• How to schedule a drop-off of in-kind donations.
• An updated list of items currently being accepted and items that are not being accepted.
• Information on warehouse locations and victim relief centers accepting in-kind donations.
• Updated video of Gatlinburg and the area as it recovers.
• Current updates and press releases.
• A link to GIS mapping of the fire damage.
• How to volunteer to assist in the recovery efforts.
• How your organization or group can sign up to help with the recovery efforts.
• And much more.


About 2-1-1: East Tennessee 2-1-1 is an easy to remember non-emergency telephone number that provides free, confidential multilingual information and referral services that connect Tennessee residents in need with a full range of community services. When you call, you’ll get a real person, one who is trained to help you sort out your needs, and then give you specific information on where you can get help. 2-1-1 serves as the first point of access to all community services, including shelter and housing, food, substance abuse prevention/treatment, health facilities, mental health services, senior issues, financial assistance, legal assistance, child care, child and elder abuse services, disaster relief, crisis intervention, and volunteer opportunities.


About Sevier County Economic Development Council: Located at the gate of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Sevier County Economic Development Council, bridges the gap from business partners to city planners. Over 15 million visitors come to the county each year and the most visited National Park in the country is at the county’s back door. The Sevier County Economic Development Council wants to make it easy for you to move your business or industry to its county. The Council’s goal is to provide information that you need on local properties, buildings and real estate that are available so that businesses can relocate or start in Sevier County.


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About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

December 5, 2016

TEMA Update on Sevier County Wildfires & Tennessee Tornadoes, 12-5-16, 6 p.m., CST


Summary below on the current wildfire situation in Sevier County and the ongoing damage assessments in counties impacted in last week’s severe weather. This will be our only update this evening. Fatalities remain at (14) from the wildfire and at (4) from the severe weather. Rain chances the next few days pose good news for wildfire control efforts, and for helping with the severe drought conditions in the eastern part of Tennessee. Gatlinburg officials have set a goal for Friday at 7 a.m., EST, to let residents and businesses back into the city on a permanent basis.


HIGHLIGHTS

• Gatlinburg officials say their goal is to let residents, businesses, and property owners back into the city at 7 a.m., EST, on Friday, Dec. 9.

• Gatlinburg continues to facilitate daily access, from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., EST, for residents and businesses. Local officials estimate the wildfire damaged or destroyed more than 1,500 structures.

• The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed (14) wildfire fatalities in Sevier County. TEMA has no further information about fatalities.

• Damage assessments continue in counties impacted in last week’s tornado and severe storm outbreak, overnight on Nov. 29. There are no exact estimates of damage currently. There are no reports of power outages in the storm-impacted communities, and no shelter occupants.

• The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) has confirmed four (4) weather-related fatalities: two (2) fatalities in Polk County, and two (2) fatalities in Meigs County.


SEVIER COUNTY WILDFIRES


CURRENT SITUATION
TEMA’s East Region office in Knoxville, Tenn., and SEOC staff in Nashville, Tenn. continue to support wildfire efforts in Sevier County with emphasis now on the recovery phase of the mission. Tennessee Forestry and multiple federal, state, local, and mutual aid agencies are supporting the wildfire response. Tennessee Army National Guard has dropped more than 885 Bambi buckets of water in support of the wildfire fighting mission in Sevier County. TEMA communications support for Sevier County remains a top priority as crews work in remote areas without communications coverage.


Please visit the Sevier County resource page at http://www.tn.gov/governor/news/sevier-county-resource-page for information on assistance the State of Tennessee and many non-governmental organizations are providing to residents and business, and to those who want to help the wildfire survivors.


In Sevier County, 1,845 people remain without power.


FATALITIES & INJURIES
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) has confirmed (14) fatalities in Sevier County from the wildfires. Sevier County officials may be investigating or reporting fatalities in the local jurisdiction not included in the total from TDH in this report. There is no further information available on these fatalities at this time. TDH also reports up to 45 injuries from the Sevier County wildfires.


SHELTERS
There are two Red Cross shelters remain open in Sevier County with 154 total occupants:
• Pigeon Forge Community Center (9)
• Rocky Top Sports World (145)


TORNADO OUTBREAK


CURRENT SITUATION
Damage assessments and debris clearance are ongoing. Storm-impacted counties, include: Bradley, Coffee, Marion, Meigs, McMinn, Polk, and Sequatchie.


The National Weather Services (NWS) confirms five (5) tornadoes impacted Tennessee Nov. 29: Coffee County, two (2) EF1s (105 mph); Marion County, one (1) EF2 (125 mph); McMinn County, one (1) EF2 (135 mph); Polk County, one (1) EF3 (140 mph).


FATALITIES & INJURIES
TDH has confirmed four (4) weather-related fatalities: two (2) fatalities in Polk County, and two (2) fatalities in Meigs County. The severe weather also caused (12) injuries: (11) in McMinn County and (1) in Hamilton County.


DONATIONS, VOLUNTEERS & RESOURCES

• Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Office and numerous State Departments and Agencies have published a resource webpage, at http://www.tn.gov/governor/news/sevier-county-resource-page, for Sevier County residents, businesses, and for those who want to help the wildfire survivors.

• Those who would like to volunteer to help for Sevier County, should sign up with Volunteer East Tennessee https://www.volunteeretn.org/DisasterRecovery. You will be contacted as soon as Sevier County has volunteer operations up-and-running. Please do not show up in Sevier County to volunteer, or deliver donations.

• The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (TN VOAD) have setup a call center, 866-586-4483, staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., every day, for information about donating goods and volunteering to help survivors of the Sevier County wildfires.


WEATHER FORECAST


Tuesday
Showers and thunderstorms are possible. Highs near 58 with winds from 5-10 mph. Chance for precipitationis 100%. Shower and thunderstorms will continue through midnight, then a slight chance of showers between midnight and 4am. Mostly cloudy with a low around 40. Northwest winds from 5-10 mph. Chance for precipitation is 40%


Wednesday
Partly sunny, with a high near 51. North wind around 5 mph. Wednesday night will bring a chance of showers between 8pm and 2 am, then a chance of rain after 2 am. Mostly cloudy with lows around 36, with winds from 5-10 mph. Chance for precipitation is 30%


Thursday
A 30% chance of rain, mainly before 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. Thursday night will bring a 20% chance of rain before 8pm. Will remain partly cloudy with a low around 21.


Friday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 32. Friday night will be partly cloudy with a low around 19.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

December 3, 2016

Sevier County, City of Gatlinburg, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and Great Smoky Mountain National Park Joint News Release


Local, State, and Federal Officials Update on Sevier County Fires


Release Date: December 3, 2016


Contact:
Dana Soehn, Dana_Soehn@nps.gov, 865-436-1207
Marci Claude, marci@gatlinburg.com, 865-964-1282
Perrin Anderson, panderson@seviercountytn.org, 865-441-0866
Dean Flener, dflener@tnema.org, 615-390-3842


Local, state, and federal crews are continuing their coordinated response in containing the Chimney Tops 2 Fire, suppressing structural flair ups in the City of Gatlinburg, conducting thorough damage assessments, and in helping residents get services and resources they need to move our community toward recovery. Local officials have provided the following update:

• To date, there are 13 confirmed fatalities. The following individuals have been newly identified: Edward Taylor, age 85, unknown address; Bradley Phillips, age 59, discovered at 412 Long Hollow Road; and Constance Reed, age 34, Chloe Reed, age 12, and Lily Reed, age 9, discovered at 347 Wiley Oakley Drive.
• To date, there have been 100 individuals who sustained injuries related to the fire and were treated at LeConte Medical Center.
• 1,413 structures have been damaged or destroyed by the fire.
• There are currently 19 crews, 47 engines, 6 helicopters, 5 dozers, 605 total personnel fighting the Chimney Top 2 Fire as a part of the Type 1 Federal Incident Management Team.
• The evacuated areas in Gatlinburg are open for access each day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through the check point at Gatlinburg City Hall via East Parkway (Hwy. 321) and Glades Road. This restriction shall remain in effect until the city reopens for the general public.
• The curfew remains in effect from 6:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. nightly.
• The Spur parkway is open only from Pigeon Forge to the Gatlinburg Welcome Center. There will be no access to Wiley Oakley from the Spur.
• Wiley Oakley Drive and Greystone Heights Road remain inaccessible due to critical utility work. Emergency crews are working to open it as soon as possible.
• The Water Boil Advisory is still in effect for Gatlinburg, with the exception of the areas east of City Hall.


Officials released the following details regarding the coordinated public response in warning the public about the fire storm. Officials worked diligently to coordinate the warning to the public before and during the catastrophic wildfire event that impacted Gatlinburg, other communities in Sevier County, and the park. Throughout the day, on Monday, November 28, officials sent media releases, utilized social media, and held media briefings to alert the public about the status of the fire to help them remain aware of the urgency of the continuously evolving situation.


Notifications were sent to the general public through widespread media coverage beginning with multiple news releases from the park beginning at approximately 10:00 a.m., regular news briefings beginning at 2:00 p.m., and the downtown Gatlinburg siren alert system to warn the public about the impending dangerous winds and fire threat. Officials made door-to-door notifications, beginning at noon, to affected communities.


Throughout the day, the command post was in contact with state emergency agencies about emergency response. At approximately 8:30 p.m., the command post contacted the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) requesting an Emergency Alert System (EAS) evacuation message to be sent to the Gatlinburg area through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), a system which has the capability of sending text messages to mobile devices. However, communications between the agencies was interrupted due to disabled phone, internet, and electrical services. Due to this interruption, the emergency notification was not delivered as planned through IPAWS as an EAS message or as a text message to mobile devices. At the same time, the National Weather Service was unable to reach the local command post. Through collaboration with the Sevier County Dispatch, they were able to deliver the mandatory evacuation alert through an EAS message to radio and television only. Once communications were reestablished, TEMA was able to send a mobile message later in the evening via IPAWS asking Sevier County residents to stay off mobile devices except for emergency use.


Despite the catastrophic events that created barriers to communication, officials utilized all resources available to them at the time to warn the public of the impending threat. The multi-agency response of firefighters, police, and emergency responders continues to work efficiently as they enter the recovery phase.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

December 2, 2016

TEMA Update on Sevier County Wildfire & Tennessee Tornadoes, 12/2/16, 7 p.m., Central


This is a brief TEMA update on the Sevier County Wildfire and Tennessee Tornadoes, to simply remind everyone of the various donations, volunteers, and resources available to help the wildfire survivors. This will be the final update this evening and we will not be distributing updates on Saturday, unless there are significant developments. We will provide another update on Sunday. News media with questions about the local activities and coordination in Sevier County can call the Joint Information Center at 865-407-0025. -Dean


DONATIONS, VOLUNTEERS & RESOURCES

• Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Office and numerous State Departments and Agencies have collaborated to publish a resource webpage for Sevier County residents, businesses, and for those who want to help the wildfire survivors.

• The Sevier County resource page is located at http://www.tn.gov/governor/news/sevier-county-resource-page, and includes topic information on donations, employment assistance, hiring contractors, health matters, housing assistance, insurance help, and letting loved ones know you are safe. Topics and information will continue to be added and TEMA will continue to publish our Flash Report updates, too.

• Those who would like to volunteer to help for Sevier County, should sign up with Volunteer East Tennessee https://www.volunteeretn.org/DisasterRecovery. You will be contacted as soon as Sevier County has volunteer operations up-and-running. Please do not show up in Sevier County to volunteer, or deliver donations.

• The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (TN VOAD) have setup a call center, 866-586-4483, staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., every day, for information about donating goods and volunteering to help survivors of the Sevier County wildfires.


TELL LOVED ONES YOU ARE SAFE


Sevier County residents can indicate their status with the American Red Cross at the organizations Safe and Well website: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php.


Residents can also use Facebook’s Safety Check to indicate their status: https://www.facebook.com/about/safetycheck/.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

TEMA Update on Sevier County Wildfire & Tennessee Tornadoes, 12/2/16, 1 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• Gatlinburg officials are allowing residents, business owners, and property owners into the city today, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern, to check on the status of their structures.

• The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed (13) wildfire fatalities in Sevier County.

• The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) has confirmed four (4) weather-related fatalities: two (2) fatalities in Polk County, and two (2) fatalities in Meigs County.


DONATIONS, VOLUNTEERS & RESOURCES

• Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Office and numerous State Departments and Agencies have collaborated to publish a resource webpage for Sevier County residents, businesses, and for those who want to help the wildfire survivors.

• The Sevier County resource page is located at http://www.tn.gov/governor/news/sevier-county-resource-page, and includes topic information on donations, employment assistance, hiring contractors, health matters, housing assistance, insurance help, and letting loved ones know you are safe. Topics and information will continue to be added and TEMA will continue to publish our Flash Report updates, too.

• Those who would like to volunteer to help for Sevier County, should sign up with Volunteer East Tennessee https://www.volunteeretn.org/DisasterRecovery. You will be contacted as soon as Sevier County has volunteer operations up-and-running. Please do not show up in Sevier County to volunteer, or deliver donations.

• The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (TN VOAD) have setup a call center, 866-586-4483, staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., every day, for information about donating goods and volunteering to help survivors of the Sevier County wildfires.


TORNADO OUTBREAK


CURRENT SITUATION
Damage assessments and debris clearance still ongoing. Storm-impacted counties, including: Bradley, Coffee, Marion, Meigs, McMinn, Polk, and Sequatchie.


As crews work to restore electricity to customers from the storms, power outages stand at 423 as of this afternoon across multiple counties.


The National Weather Services (NWS) confirms five (5) tornadoes impacted Tennessee Nov. 29: Coffee County, two (2) EF1s (105 mph); Marion County, one (1) EF2 (125 mph); McMinn County, one (1) EF2 (135 mph); Polk County, one (1) EF3 (140 mph).


FATALITIES & INJURIES
TDH has confirmed four (4) weather-related fatalities: two (2) fatalities in Polk County, and two (2) fatalities in Meigs County. The severe weather also caused (12) injuries: (11) in McMinn County and (1) in Hamilton County.


There are no firm numbers on exact damage overall at this time.


TEMA continues to support the storm cleanup and coordination, along with the Tennessee Department of Military, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee State Parks, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


The American Red Cross has one (1) shelters open with one (1) occupant at Keith Memorial UMC.


SEVIER COUNTY WILDFIRES


CURRENT SITUATION
Gatlinburg officials are allowing residents, business owners, and property owners into the city today, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern, to check on the status of their structures.


Please visit the Sevier County resource page at http://www.tn.gov/governor/news/sevier-county-resource-page for information on assistance the State of Tennessee and many non-governmental organizations are providing to residents and business, and to those who want to help the wildfire survivors.


In Sevier County, 4,871 people remain without power.


FATALITIES & INJURIES
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) has confirmed (13) fatalities in Sevier County from the wildfires. Sevier County officials may be investigating or reporting fatalities in the local jurisdiction not included in the total from TDH in this report. There is no further information available on these fatalities at this time. TDH also reports up to 45 injuries from the Sevier County wildfires.


SHELTERS
There are two Red Cross shelters remain open in Sevier County with 195 total occupants:
• Pigeon Forge Community Center (9)
• Rocky Top Sports World (186)


TELL LOVED ONES YOU ARE SAFE
Sevier County residents can indicate their status with the American Red Cross at the organizations Safe and Well website: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php.


Residents can also use Facebook’s Safety Check to indicate their status: https://www.facebook.com/about/safetycheck/.

About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

TEMA Update Sevier County Wildfire & Tennessee Tornadoes, 12-1-16, 7 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Office and numerous State Departments and Agencies have collaborated to publish a resource webpage for Sevier County residents, businesses, and for those who want to help the wildfire survivors.

• The Sevier County resource page is located at http://www.tn.gov/governor/news/sevier-county-resource-page, and includes topic information on donations, employment assistance, hiring contractors, health matters, housing assistance, insurance help, and letting loved ones know you are safe. Topics and information will continue to be added and TEMA will continue to publish our Flash Report updates, too.

• TEMA and TN VOAD set up call center, 866-586-4483, for information on donations and volunteering.

• The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) has confirmed four (4) weather-related fatalities: two (2) fatalities in Polk County, and two (2) fatalities in Meigs County.

• TDH has also confirmed (11) wildfire fatalities in Sevier County.


TORNADO OUTBREAK


CURRENT SITUATION
Damage assessments and debris clearance ongoing today in a number of storm-impacted counties, including: Bradley, Coffee, Marion, Meigs, McMinn, Polk, and Sequatchie.


As crews work to restore electricity to customers from the storms, power outages stand at 6,182 as of this afternoon across multiple counties.

The National Weather Services (NWS) confirms five (5) tornadoes impacted Tennessee Nov. 29: Coffee County, two (2) EF1s (105 mph); Marion County, one (1) EF2 (125 mph); McMinn County, one (1) EF2 (135 mph); Polk County, one (1) EF3 (140 mph).


FATALITIES & INJURIES
TDH has confirmed four (4) weather-related fatalities: two (2) fatalities in Polk County, and two (2) fatalities in Meigs County. The severe weather also caused (12) injuries: (11) in McMinn County and (1) in Hamilton County.


There are no firm numbers on exact damage overall at this time.


TEMA continues to support the storm cleanup and coordination, along with the Tennessee Department of Military, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee State Parks, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


The American Red Cross has two (2) shelters open with 13 occupants: McMinn County, Keith Memorial UMC one (1) occupant, and Polk County, Polk County High School, (12) occupants.


SEVIER COUNTY WILDFIRES


CURRENT SITUATION
Please visit the Sevier County resource page at http://www.tn.gov/governor/news/sevier-county-resource-page for information on assistance the State of Tennessee and many non-governmental organizations are providing to residents and business, and to those who want to help the wildfire survivors.


Local officials reported putting out spotty structural fires today in Sevier County. Gatlinburg remains blocked to the public, with a mandatory evacuation order still in place. Local officials are not providing access to the city because it remains a dangerous situation. A curfew will be in place tonight from 6 p.m., Eastern, to 6 a.m., Eastern tomorrow.


In Sevier County, 4,871 people remain without power.


A temporary flight restriction remains in place to prevent aircraft from complicating the response.


FATALITIES & INJURIES
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) has confirmed seven (11) fatalities in Sevier County from the wildfires. Sevier County officials may be investigating or reporting fatalities in the local jurisdiction not included in the total from TDH in this report. There is no further information available on these fatalities at this time. TDH also reports up to 45 injuries from the Sevier County wildfires.


SHELTERS
There are two Red Cross shelters remain open in Sevier County with 266 total occupants:

• Pigeon Forge Community Center (16)
• Rocky Top Sports World (250)


DONATION & VOLUNTEER CALL CENTER

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (TN VOAD) have setup a call center for information about donating goods and volunteering to help survivors of the Sevier County wildfires.


The call center number is 866-586-4483 and is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., every day of the week.


TELL LOVED ONES YOU ARE SAFE


Sevier County residents can indicate their status with the American Red Cross at the organizations Safe and Well website: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php.


Residents can also use Facebook’s Safety Check to indicate their status: https://www.facebook.com/about/safetycheck/.

December 1, 2016

TEMA Update on Sevier County Wildfire & Tennessee Severe Weather, 12-1-16, 10 a.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

TEMA and TN VOAD set up call center, 866-586-4483, for information on donations and volunteering.

• Weather-related fatalities remain at two (2) confirmed in Polk County.

• Wildfire fatalities in Sevier County remain at seven (7) confirmed.

• Five (5) confirmed tornadoes in Tennessee from the severe weather overnight on Nov. 29.

• Damage assessments and debris clearance continues for severe-weather impacted counties.

• Tennessee continues to experience other wildfire threats and drought conditions, even with the recent heavy rains




TORNADO OUTBREAK


CURRENT SITUATION
Damage assessments and debris clearance will continue today in some of the harder hit counties from the severe storms and tornadoes overnight on Nov. 29.


As crews work to restore electricity to customers from the storms, power outages stand at 6,861 as of this morning across multiple counties.


There are no firm numbers on exact damage overall at this time. A county-by-county update follows:


Bradley County: Local officials report damage in some areas, still under assessment. No reports of weather-related injuries. Bradley County EMA is also assisting in Polk County.


Coffee County: The NWS says Coffee County had two (2), EF1 tornadoes the night of Nov. 29. One, EF1 was located southeast of Manchester with winds of 105 mph. Another EF1 was west of Tullahoma, also with 105 mph maximum winds.


Marion County: Local officials report five homes damaged, with one destroyed, in the Alvin York Highway area. Two people also received minor injuries. The NWS confirms one (1) EF2 tornado impacted Marion County (and moved into Sequatchie County) with peak winds at 125 mph.


Meigs County: An area near Georgetown sustained damage and officials are still surveying impact.


McMinn County: The Deerfield Estates Community in Athens was hit by one (1) EF2 tornado with maximum winds of 135 mph. Damage assessments continue in the county today.


Polk County: There are 2 confirmed, storm-related fatalities in Polk County, where one (1) EF3 tornado, damaged 20 homes and destroyed the Ocoee community’s U.S. Post Office. All major routes into Polk County are currently open. The National Weather Service (NWS) says the Polk County EF3 tornado had a peak wind speed of 140 mph.


Sequatchie County: The Cartwright/New Hope area sustained damage, which is still under assessment.


TEMA has a District Coordinator in McMinn County command post to support the local emergency management agency. The Tennessee Department of Military, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee State Parks, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are supporting the severe weather mission.




SEVIER COUNTY WILDFIRES


CURRENT SITUATION
Firefighters in Sevier County are still addressing remnants of smoldering wildfires and Gatlinburg remains blocked to the public, with a mandatory evacuation order still in place. Local officials are not providing access to the city because it remains a dangerous situation.


More than 400 firefighters and almost 100 fire apparatuses are supporting the firefighting effort in Sevier County.


The exact number of structures affected and exact acreage impacted by the Chimney top wildfire remain unknown. Local officials are estimating 700 impacted structures and more than 17,000 acres burned.


The total size of the wildfire impact, on acreage and on structures, in Sevier County is still being assessed.


In Sevier County, 8,476 people remain without power.


A temporary flight restriction remains in place to prevent aircraft from complicating the response.


There are no air quality alerts in place for Sevier County today and local reports show clear skies. The Knoxville area may have air quality (Orange) that is unhealthy for those with lung conditions later today.


Air quality information is available at: https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_state&stateid=44 .


The Division of Forestry continues to address a number of other wildfires burning in Tennessee, in addition to the Chimney Top wildfire in Sevier County. As of Nov. 30, there were 26 active wildfires in the state impacting 11,787 acres.


Other significant wildfires include:

• East Miller Cove (Blount) 1,504 acres, 95% contained
• Little Brushy (Morgan) 435 acres, 100% contained
• Stoney Fork (Campbell) 1,650 acres, 100% contained
• Beech Grove Rd (Anderson) 361 acres, 100% contained
• Bald Knob Rd. (Morgan) 1,393 acres, 100% contained
• Old Mountain Rd. (Grainger) 230, 100% contained
• Flippers Bend (Hamilton) 981 acres, 100% contained
• Poe Rd. (Hamilton) 712 acres, 100% contained
• Mowbray (Hamilton) 899 acres, 98% contained


Even with recent rains in Tennessee, the state continues to experience drought conditions. All of Tennessee’s 95 counties are experiencing Severe drought conditions or higher, with 18 counties in Exceptional drought status and 52 counties in Extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?TN.


FATALITIES & INJURIES
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) has confirmed 7 fatalities in Sevier County from the wildfires. There is no further information available on these fatalities at this time. TDOH also reports up to 45 injuries from the Sevier County wildfires.


SHELTERS
There are two Red Cross shelters remain open in Sevier County with 219 total occupants:
• Pigeon Forge Community Center (13)
• Rocky Top Sports World (206)


DONATION & VOLUNTEER CALL CENTER
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (TN VOAD) have setup a call center for information about donating goods and volunteering to help survivors of the Sevier County wildfires.


The call center number is 866-586-4483 and is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., every day of the week.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 30, 2016

TEMA Update on the Sevier County Wildfires & Severe Storms, 11-30-15, 5 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS


- Tennessee Department of Health confirms 7 fatalities from the wildfires in Sevier County.


- There are 2 fatalities in Polk County that are storm-related.


- TEMA and TN VOAD set up call center, 866-586-4483, for information on donations and volunteering.


- National Weather Service confirms two tornado touchdowns: EF1 in Coffee County and an EF2 in McMinn County
.


TORNADO OUTBREAK


CURRENT SITUATION
Damage assessments are ongoing in several Tennessee counties from the overnight severe storms on Thursday, Nov. 30. Counties impacted by the severe weather include: Bedford, Bradley, Coffee, Franklin, Marion, Monroe, McMinn, Polk, and Sequatchie. There are no preliminary damage assessment totals at this time.


The National Weather Service (NWS) says an EF1 tornado touched down in Coffee County with winds around 105 mph. NWS also says and EF2 tornado, with winds from 111 to 135 mph, touched down in McMinn County. Additional NWS storm surveys are ongoing.


The Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) has confirmed two fatalities (husband and wife) in Polk County from the severe weather outbreak. TDOH also reports 12 injuries – 11 in McMinn County and 1 in Hamilton County.


Approximately 7,139 people across multiple counties are without power from the storms.


TEMA has deployed a District Coordinator to the McMinn County command post to support the local emergency management agency. The Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee State Parks, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are assisting with welfare checks in Polk County. THP is also assisting with welfare checks in McMinn County.


SEVIER COUNTY WILDFIRES


CURRENT SITUATION
Rain this morning and today provided some relief in wildfire outbreaks in Sevier County. Gatlinburg reports all wildfires out, though some are still smoldering. Gatlinburg remains under a mandatory evacuation order and a curfew will be in place tonight from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., Eastern. Pigeon Forge reported no new outbreaks today.


The total size of the wildfire impact, on acreage and on structures, in Sevier County is still being assessed.


In Sevier County, 8,476 people remain without power.


A temporary flight restriction remains in place to prevent aircraft from complicating the response.


FATALITIES & INJURIES
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) has confirmed 7 fatalities in Sevier County from the wildfires. There is no further information available on these fatalities at this time. TDOH also reports up to 45 injuries from the Sevier County wildfires.


SHELTERS
There are two Red Cross shelters remain open in Sevier County with 196 total occupants:
• Pigeon Forge Community Center (4)
• Rocky Top Sports World (192)


DONATION & VOLUNTEER CALL CENTER
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (TN VOAD) have setup a call center for information about donating goods and volunteering to help survivors of the Sevier County wildfires.


The call center number is 866-586-4483 and is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., every day of the week.


Sevier County residents can use the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well website, https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php, to indicate their status so family members and friends know they are OK.


Residents can also use Facebook’s Safety Check to indicate their status: https://www.facebook.com/about/safetycheck/


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

TEMA Update on Sevier County Wildfire and Overnight Tornado Outbreak, 11-30-16, 11 a.m., Central

This, and subsequent, updates will cover both the wildfire situation in Sevier County and the severe weather event last night that impacted multiple counties in Tennessee.


TORNADO OUTBREAK


CURRENT SITUATION
At least eight counties in Tennessee experienced a severe weather outbreak overnight, with weather spotters reporting tornado touchdowns. This morning, local officials are conducting damage assessments, weather permitting. The National Weather Service, weather permitting, will conduct surveys of the severe weather impact in the counties to confirm tornado touchdowns. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has deployed district coordinators to assist local officials in Coffee and Polk counties.


The Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) has confirmed two fatalities (husband and wife) in Polk County from the severe weather outbreak. TDOH also reports injuries in Polk County, Marion County, and McMinn County. Details below in county-by-county rundown.


Bedford, Bradley Coffee, Franklin, and Sequatchie counties all report structural damage and some power lines downed, no reports of injuries or fatalities.


Marion County: 3 injured and transported. Command post set up at Frank Tate Road, Hwy. 283. Reports of multiple collapsed structures, downed trees and power lines.


Monroe County: Providing ambulance and fire assistance to McMinn County to assist.


McMinn County: Deerfield Estates Community (Athens) on SR 307 has severe damage and crews have accessed the area. Reports of multiple injuries, up to 23 persons, and structural damage to homes. Hamilton County has sent a search and team to McMinn to assist.


Polk County: Significant damage, including a U.S. Post Office.


TEMA is supporting the severe weather situation out of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville and its East Region Coordination Center in Knoxville.


SEVIER COUNTY WILDFIRES


CURRENT SITUATION
Overnight, Pigeon Forge reported no new fire outbreaks and officials there lifted the mandatory evacuation order.


Gatlinburg had more fire outbreaks overnight and rain began falling in the area early this morning. Gatlinburg is still under a mandatory evacuation order and officials are asking evacuees to not try to get back into the city. Officials will announce when they are ready to let residents return.


A temporary flight restriction remains in place to prevent aircraft from complicating the response.


Numerous roads remain closed and blocked by fallen trees and power lines. State Hwy. 441 heading into Gatlinburg is closed, except for emergency traffic. State Hwy. 441 leaving Gatlinburg is open to evacuating traffic.


FATALITIES & INJURIES
Sevier County officials report 14 injuries and three fatalities. There is no other information available at this time.


SHELTERS
There are three Red Cross shelters remain open in Sevier County with 215 total occupants:

• LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge (19)
• Pigeon Forge Community Center (4)
• Rocky Top Sports World (192)


DONATION INFORMATION FOR SEVIER COUNTY

• Cash donations can be made through the American Red Cross at redcross.org/donate, or by calling call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a donation.

• New Hope Church of God at 2450 Winfield Dunn Parkway in Sevierville is collecting donations also. Contact number is 865-932-4673, staffed 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern.

• Gatlinburg officials are asking volunteers not to self-deploy to Sevier County to assist. Local and state officials are currently working on a process to manage volunteers and will provide more information when it is available.


Sevier County residents can use the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well website, https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php, to indicate their status so family members and friends know they are OK.


Residents can also use Facebook’s Safety Check to indicate their status: https://www.facebook.com/about/safetycheck/


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 29, 2016

TEMA Update on Sevier County Wildfires, 11-29-16, 5 p.m., Central


The following is TEMA’s evening update on the Sevier County wildfires. This will be the final update tonight. We will issue another Flash Report tomorrow morning with any new information from the overnight. For news media questions about the local response and situation, please contact the following PIOs in Sevier County: Perrin Anderson, perrin@seviercountytn.gov, Marci Claude, marci@gatlinburg.com, 865-964-1282, or Dana Soehn, Dana_Soehn@nps.gov, 865-436-1207.


HIGHLIGHTS
Sevier County first responders, firefighters, emergency medical services, emergency management, and local officials have been intensely involved in the wildfire fighting effort in the County for almost 24 hours.


Firefighting has been the sole focus on-the-ground in Sevier County and local officials have not had any chance to set up processes for receiving donations or engaging volunteers. Please note the following information:

• Cash donations can be made through the American Red Cross at redcross.org/donate, or by calling call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a donation.

• New Hope Church of God at 2450 Winfield Dunn Parkway in Sevierville is collecting donations also. Contact number is 865-932-4673, staffed 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern.

• Gatlinburg officials are asking volunteers not to self-deploy to Sevier County to assist. Local and state officials are currently working on a process to manage volunteers and will provide more information when it is available.

• Gatlinburg is blocked off to the public and local officials are not providing access into the city because it is still a dangerous situation. Local officials will announce when they are ready to allow residents back into Gatlinburg.

• Gatlinburg officials also have not had a chance to do a complete and through assessment of damage in Sevier County. So it is unknown at this time of an exact number of structures damaged or destroyed in Sevier County by the wildfire.


Sevier County residents can use the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well website, https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php, to indicate their status so family members and friends know they are OK.


Residents can also use Facebook’s Safety Check to indicate their status: https://www.facebook.com/about/safetycheck/


There are many fires still burning in Sevier County and it continues to be a dangerous situation in the county.


City of Gatlinburg officials have instituted a curfew to be in place from 6 p.m., to 6 a.m., Eastern, tonight.


CURRENT SITUATION
Local officials in Pigeon Forge has lifted the mandatory evacuation order. Gatlinburg still remains under a mandatory evacuation order.


Pigeon Forge officials estimate 500 people were evacuated on Monday night. Approximately 125 people remain displaced and in local shelters in Pigeon Forge.


State agencies and local officials evacuated likely thousands residents and visitors from Sevier County last night due to devastating wildfires in-and-around the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. It is very likely 14,000+ residents and visitors evacuated from Gatlinburg alone.


The Chimney Top Fire, which began in the Great Smoky Mountains, spread very rapidly yesterday evening as high winds pushed flames onto private property.


A temporary flight restriction is in place to prevent aircraft from complicating the response.


Numerous roads remain closed and blocked by fallen trees and power lines. State Hwy. 441 heading into Gatlinburg is closed, except for emergency traffic. State Hwy. 441 leaving Gatlinburg is open to evacuating traffic.


Additionally, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has liaison officers in Sevier County and has activated the East Tennessee Regional Coordination Center to facilitate resource requests and mission assignments.


FATALITIES & INJURIES
Sevier County officials report 14 injuries and three fatalities. There is no other information available at this time.


Three persons with severe burns were transferred form University of Tennessee’s Knoxville (UTK) hospital to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville overnight. A fourth with burns to their face continues to be evaluated at UTK. Currently, there are no reports of fatalities.


POWER OUTAGES
Sevier County reports 10,693 people without power.


SHELTERS
There are three Red Cross shelters open in Sevier County, as follows:

• LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge
• Pigeon Forge Community Center
• Rocky Top Sports World


At peak, an estimated 1,300 people occupied six Red Cross or independently-operated shelters. The latest estimate is 1,100 occupants in the three shelters above.


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES
TEMA opened the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville last night coordinating with Emergency Services Coordinators and representatives with the Tennessee departments of Commerce and Insurance (State Fire Marshal), General Services, Health, Human Services and Transportation, and American Red Cross, Army National Guard, Fire Mutual Aid, Tennessee Division of Forestry, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.


This morning, representatives from the Tennessee departments of Economic and Community Development, Labor and Workforce Development, Financial Institutions, Department of Education, Finance and Administration, Agriculture, and the Tennessee Valley Authority will join those organizations already collaborating to ensure coordinated response and effective recovery.


Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers (up to 52 at peak) have conducted door-to-door canvassing to assist with notifications and evacuations.


Tennessee Department of Transportation (32 personnel) crews and trucks have been working continuously overnight to help clear routes of ingress and egress, fire fighters and apparatus from scores of jurisdictions responded with mutual aid.


The Tennessee National Guard is activating 111 soldiers to assist with movement of first responders, light debris removal and well ness checks. The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has 15 personnel also assisting with the searches and wellness checks.


The Tennessee Department of Health is coordinating hospitals and medical services with local partners.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency this evening to secure a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the Chimney Top Mountain fire, which caused the wildfire outbreak in Sevier County.


WEATHER
A line of strong to marginally severe storms is expected in East Tennessee, tonight and into early Wednesday morning. Damaging straight-line winds up to 60 mph are the primary threat. Heavy downpours and lightning will also accompany these storms.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

TEMA Update on Sevier County Wildfires, 11-29-16, 8 a.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

This update corrects information indicating Ober Gatlinburg was destroyed in the wildfire last night. Ober Gatlinburg posted video this morning on its Facebook page, indicating all is OK at the facility: https://www.facebook.com/obergatlinburg/

• Media Note: The Level III – State of Emergency has been in place since Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, due to the ongoing drought conditions and wildfire threats in Tennessee.

• Thousands of residents and visitors evacuated overnight in Sevier County. Hundreds of structures damaged and destroyed by the wildfires, according to local emergency management officials.

• Hundreds of firefighters, and local and state personnel, directly responding to the wildfire situation or coordinating to help those who are.

• Sevier County residents can indicate their status with the American Red Cross at the organizations Safe and Well website: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

• Residents can also use Facebook’s Safety Check to indicate their status: https://www.facebook.com/about/safetycheck/


CURRENT SITUATION

State agencies and local officials evacuated likely thousands residents and visitors from Sevier County last night due to devastating wildfires in-and-around the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. It is very likely 14,000+ residents and visitors evacuated from Gatlinburg alone.


The Chimney Top Fire, which began in the Great Smoky Mountains, spread very rapidly yesterday evening as high winds pushed flames onto private property.


Even with the rain that is currently falling there, the fires continue to burn and structures remain engulfed with little hope that the rainfall will bring immediate relief.


A temporary flight restriction is in place to prevent aircraft from complicating the response.


Numerous roads remain closed and blocked by fallen trees and power lines. State Hwy. 441 heading into Gatlinburg is closed, except for emergency traffic. State Hwy. 441 leaving Gatlinburg is open to evacuating traffic.


Additionally, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has liaison officers in Sevier County and has activated the East Tennessee Regional Coordination Center to facilitate resource requests and mission assignments.


Green and Sevier County schools are closed today. Cocke County schools are running two hours late.


FATALITIES & INJURIES
Three persons with severe burns were transferred form University of Tennessee’s Knoxville (UTK) hospital to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville overnight. A fourth with burns to their face continues to be evaluated at UTK. Currently, there are no reports of fatalities.


POWER OUTAGES
Sevier County reports 11,595 people without power.


SHELTERS
At a peak, an estimated 1,300 people occupied six Red Cross or independently-operated shelters. The latest estimate is 1,100 people in four shelters.


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES
TEMA opened the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville last night coordinating with Emergency Services Coordinators and representatives with the Tennessee departments of Commerce and Insurance (State Fire Marshal), General Services, Health, Human Services and Transportation, and American Red Cross, Army National Guard, Fire Mutual Aid, Tennessee Division of Forestry, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.


This morning, representatives from the Tennessee departments of Economic and Community Development, Labor and Workforce Development, Financial Institutions, Department of Education, Finance and Administration, Agriculture, and the Tennessee Valley Authority will join those organizations already collaborating to ensure coordinated response and effective recovery.


Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers (up to 52 at peak) have conducted door-to-door canvassing to assist with notifications and evacuations.


Tennessee Department of Transportation (32 personnel) crews and trucks have been working continuously overnight to help clear routes of ingress and egress, fire fighters and apparatus from scores of jurisdictions responded with mutual aid.


The Tennessee National Guard is activating 100 soldiers to assist with movement of first responders, light debris removal and wellness checks.


The Tennessee Department of Health is coordinating hospitals and medical services with local partners.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency this evening to secure a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the Chimney Top Mountain fire, which caused the wildfire outbreak in Sevier County.


WEATHER


Showers and thunderstorms after 1 p.m., Eastern, today with winds 5 to 15 mph, and gusts to 20 mph. High near 69. Precipitation chance 80 percent.


Tonight, a chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 10 p.m., Eastern. Mostly cloudy with a low around 59. Breezy, with a south wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.


KEY MESSAGE

TEMA is asking residents in Sevier County to stay off mobile devices unless it is for emergency calls to prevent taxing the mobile system.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

TEMA Update on Sevier County Wildfires, 11-29-30, 2 a.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated tonight with numerous state and non-profit agencies coordinating resources to assist Sevier County’s wildfire response and to help in protecting lives and property.

• Wildfires still burning in Sevier County with heavy smoke beginning to settle in parts of the County.

• Sevier County residents can indicate their status with the American Red Cross at the organizations Safe and Well website: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

• Residents can also use Facebook’s Safety Check to indicate their status: https://www.facebook.com/about/safetycheck/


CURRENT SITUATION

Dangerous wildfires are still having an impact in Sevier County as local officials ordered evacuations for downtown Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and other parts of the county.


Fire crews are still battling blazes in Sevier County as a heavy layer of smoke settles in many areas of the county.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency this evening to secure a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the Chimney Top Mountain fire, which caused the wildfire outbreak in Sevier County.


Sevier County officials currently estimate about 100 homes impacted in the county with 10 homes impacted in Gatlinburg from the fire.


Approximately 30 structures have been impacted in Gatlinburg, including a 16-story hotel on Regan Drive and the Driftwood Apartments reported fully-involved near the Park Vista Hotel.


State Hwy. 441 heading into Gatlinburg is closed, except for emergency traffic. State Hwy. 441 leaving Gatlinburg is open to evacuating traffic.


Green, McMinn, Sevier County schools will be closed on Tuesday. Cocke County schools run two hours late.


FATALITIES & INJURIES
There are no reports of fatalities. There is a report of a report a burn injury to a male evacuee. There is also a report of minor injuries due to a fire truck involved in an accident.


POWER OUTAGES
Sevier County reports 12,509 people without power.


SHELTERS
A total of 1,200 people have sheltered at the Gatlinburg Community Center and at the Rocky Top Sports Park.


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is open and operational, and TEMA coordination is ongoing through the SEOC with state and local partners involved in the Gatlinburg wildfire response. These partners include: the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


The Tennessee National Guard is in the process of mobilizing 100 personnel from East Tennessee to assist Sevier County with transporting 1st responders, removing light debris, and assisting with welfare checks.


The Tennessee Department of Transportation is securing fuel resources and equipment to assist in replenishing diesel fuel for firefighters and first responders’ vehicles.


The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is identifying lodging resources to assist those displaced by the wildfires.


TEMA logistics and the Tennessee Department of General Services is working to secure a gasoline tanker for fuel.


Tennessee’s Fire Mutual Aid system is coordinating the arrival of 50 to 60 fire apparatuses from local departments around from as far north as Greenville, Tenn. and as far south as McMinn County, Tenn.


Tennessee Department of Health is coordinating to send medical units from surrounding counties to assist with any medical transports.


The Tennessee Highway Patrol is deploying strike teams to assist with evacuations and traffic control.


WEATHER

High-wind warning for Sevier County until the morning. Rain is also in the forecast for the area for the next few days.


KEY MESSAGE

TEMA is asking residents in Sevier County to stay off mobile devices unless it is for emergency calls to prevent taxing the mobile system.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 28, 2016

TEMA Update on Sevier County Wildfires, 11-28-16, 10 p.m., Central


KEY MESSAGE: TEMA is asking residents in Sevier County to stay off mobile devices unless it is for emergency calls to prevent taxing the mobile system.


HIGHLIGHTS

• This is a special Flash Report providing information and updates on a significant and ongoing wildfire threat impacting the City of Gatlinburg, City of Pigeon Forge, and other parts of Sevier County this evening.
• Evacuations are underway for Downtown Gatlinburg, and also Mynatt Park, Park Vista and Ski Mounty in Gatlinburg, and for the south part of Pigeon Forge close to Sevierville. The wildfire is also at the edge of the Dollywood property.
• Sevier County and Gatlinburg officials have established a command center at Gatlinburg City Hall.
• Local officials have ordered mandatory evacuations for Mynatt Park, Park Vista, and Ski Mountain. Evacuations have also been ordered for the north end of Pigeon Forge.


CURRENT SITUATION


Strong winds this afternoon (11/28/16) caused a wildland fire on Chimney Top Mountain, in the Smoky Mtn. National Park, to spread rapidly onto private property in the City of Gatlinburg, and in the City of Pigeon Forge.


Currently 30 structures are on fire in Gatlinburg, including a 16-story hotel on Regan Drive and the Driftwood Apartments reported fully-involved near the Park Vista Hotel.


Evacuations are underway for Downtown Gatlinburg, and also Mynatt Park, Park Vista and Ski Mounty in Gatlinburg, and for the south part of Pigeon Forge close to Sevierville. The wildfire is also at the edge of the Dollywood property.


Sevier County and Gatlinburg officials have established a command center at Gatlinburg City Hall.


Local officials have ordered mandatory evacuations for Mynatt Park, Park Vista, and Ski Mountain. Evacuations have also been ordered for the north end of Pigeon Forge.


State Hwy. 441 heading into Gatlinburg is closed, except for emergency traffic. State Hwy. 441 leaving Gatlinburg is open to evacuating traffic.


There are reports of downed power lines and trees, and reports of road closures.


9-1-1 communications centers in the area report being inundated with calls about the situation.


Green and Sevier County schools will be closed on Tuesday. Cocke County schools run two hours late.


There are no reports of fatalities. There is a report of a report a burn injury to a male evacuee. There is also a report of minor injuries due to a fire truck involved in an accident.


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES


The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is open and operational, and TEMA coordination is ongoing through the SEOC with state and local partners involved in the Gatlinburg wildfire response. These partners include: the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


Tennessee’s Fire Mutual Aid system is coordinating the arrival of 50 to 60 fire apparatuses from local departments around from as far north as Greenville, Tenn. and as far south as McMinn County, Tenn.


Tennessee Department of Health is coordinating to send medical units from surrounding counties to assist with any medical transports.


A total of 1,200 people have sheltered at the Gatlinburg Community Center and at the Rocky Top Sport Park.


The Tennessee National Guard will be deploying personnel to Sevier County to assist with debris clearance and removal.


The Tennessee Highway Patrol is deploying strike teams to assist with evacuations and traffic control.


The Tennessee Department of Transportation has crews assisting with traffic control.


WEATHER


High-wind warning for Sevier County until the morning. Rainfall is approaching the area.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

TEMA Update on Drought & Wildfires, 11-28-16, 11 a.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• Heavy rain already this morning in West Tennessee. Middle Tennessee can expect rain this afternoon and the cold front, along with the precipitation, will continue eastward.

• While this rainfall won’t break the drought, it will go a long way to mitigating fire dangers. Look for rainfall totals of 2 to 3 inches across Middle Tennessee with some higher totals for southern and eastern counties.

• Check drought conditions for your zip code: https://www.drought.gov/drought/drought-my-backyard.

• Wildfire information at: www.BurnSafeTN.org.


CURRENT SITUATION


As of 7 p.m., Central, Sunday night, the Division of Forestry responded to 8 new fires impacting 113.5 acres. There are currently 40 active fires in Tennessee impacting 15,566 acres, There are 10 major wildland fires in Tennessee ranging from 90% to 100% contained.


TEMA and the Division of Forestry have worked with Federal Emergency Management Agency to receive three Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) for Tennessee: one to support the Smith Mountain wildfire complex that includes the Smith Mountain, Mowbray and Bench Bluff fires, one FMAG to support the Flippers Bend fire in Hamilton County, and the third FMAG is supporting the East Miller Cove Fire. FMAG is specific to the fire, not county.


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued Executive Order #59 on Nov. 22, 2016, suspending rules related to vehicles transporting hay, permitting them to carry loads in excess of limits on height, width, and length. Details at: http://share.tn.gov/sos/pub/execorders/exec-orders-haslam59.pdf.


Gov. Haslam issued a proclamation on Nov. 14, 2016, declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee.


Residents in these areas of Tennessee where the smoky haze and smell is present do not need call 9-1-1 unless they see smoke actually rising from the ground.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan and set in place a Level 3 – State of Emergency, effective at 7 p.m., Central, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The State of Emergency will remain in place until conditions merit a return to normal, daily operations.


The State of Emergency allows multi-jurisdictional engagement of local, state, and federal personnel and resources to be sure Tennessee is positioned to respond effectively and quickly to protect lives and property from what is emerging as a prolonged drought and wildfire threat in the state.


WILDFIRES


Active Fires (fought in the last 24 hours)

NUMBER OF FIRES: 40 | ACRES BURNED: 15.566


Year to Date
TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRES: 1,381 | TOTAL ACRES BURNED: 43,457


Major Fires

• Ivydale/Trail #2 (Campbell) 100 acres, 100% contained
• East Miller Cove (Blount) 1,500 acres, 90% contained [FMAG]
• Little Brushy (Morgan) 392 acres, 100% contained
• Stoney Fork (Campbell) 1,129 acres, 100% contained
• Beech Grove Rd (Anderson) 360 acres, 100% contained
• Bald Knob Rd. (Morgan) 1,254 acres, 100% contained
• Old Mountain Rd. (Grainger) 230, 100% contained
• Flippers Bend (Hamilton) 981 acres, 100% contained [FMAG]
• Poe Rd. (Hamilton) 712 acres, 100% contained
• Mowbray (Hamilton) 899 acres, 98% contained [FMAG, part of Smith Mtn. fire complex, which also includes Bench Bluff fire]


Air Quality
The Air Quality Index for Tennessee today shows a persistent area today of Unhealthy (Red) to Unhealthy for Special Groups (Orange) air quality for Knoxville and its surrounding counties today.


More air quality information is at: https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_state&stateid=44. Select “AQI Loop” to see how the air quality forecast will change over time.


Burn Bans
Gov. Haslam’s regional burn ban covers the following 51 counties: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Macon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.


More details at: http://www.tn.gov/news/46739


Effective immediately, residents in the counties covered by the regional ban are not permitted to conduct any open-air burning. The ban includes campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, household waste or construction debris. The ban will remain in effect until December 15.


Additionally, Marshall, Robertson, Sumner and Wilson counties in Middle Tennessee are under an Agriculture Commissioner ban on burning.


The Governor’s regional burn ban applies to open-air burning near woodlands and includes a prohibition of campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, and construction debris. Generally, the burn ban does NOT apply to cooking grills and other similar lighted devices that are well established in a confined, protected area away from woodlands. However, as a precaution, the disposal of hot grill ashes can be a fire hazard. Grill ashes should be allowed to completely cool or wetted before disposal in all cases. The burning of household waste is never allowed under state air quality laws. More information is available at: https://tn.gov/environment/article/apc-open-burning.


DROUGHT


All of Tennessee’s 95 counties are experiencing Severe drought conditions or higher, with 18 counties in Exceptional drought status and 52 counties in Extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.


Approximately 442 of Tennessee’s 480 water systems are within areas experiencing some level of drought impact, ranging from severe to exceptional.


Details at: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?TN.


Drought Resources

• County Ag extension agents are primary source of assistance for farmers.

• Hay availability website: http://picktnproducts.org

• The Farm Services Agency (FSA) has several of USDA’s disaster relief programs: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/index

• Agriculture Drought Information: https://extension.tennessee.edu/Pages/ANR-CED-Drought.aspx

• FSA has the Livestock Forage Program and Emergency Loans available to producers due to drought. In Tennessee if more information is needed about the Livestock Forage Program Ron Eldridge can be contacted at ron.eldridge@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2620. For Emergency Loans contact James Welborn at James.welborn@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2627.

• TDEC’s Division of Water Resources webpage for listing of water systems in varying stages of drought response: http://tn.gov/environment/topic/wr-drought-planning


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES


Wildland firefighters from 10 states, including Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Washington are supporting Tennessee’s efforts to contain, control, and mitigate the wildfire threat. Another 20 State and Federal agencies are engaged in either fighting the wildfires directly or in coordinating the efforts and resources for those who are.


Since Sun., Nov. 6, the Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) has conducted more than 1,000 water air drop missions in support of wildfire fighting efforts in east Tennessee.


The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is staffed and TEMA coordination is ongoing through the SEOC with state and local partners involved in the wildfire response and drought monitoring. These partners include: the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


WEATHER FORECAST


East TN – Increasing cloudiness and strong southerly winds on Monday ahead of a cold front which will bring the possibility of storms. Much needed rainfall is expected on Monday with additional rainfall possible through Wednesday.


Middle TN – Rains area-wide on Monday and Wednesday.


West TN – Significant rain accumulations expected over the next few days. Strong, sustained winds with gusts up to 20 m.p.h. area forecast.


KEY MESSAGE


The Tennessee Arson Hotline is 1-800-762-3017 and is answered 24 hours a day. Report arson activity also to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Crime Unit at 1-844-AGCRIME (1-844-242-7463). Callers may remain anonymous.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 22, 2016

TEMA Update on Drought & Wildfires, 11-22-16, 3 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issues Executive Order #59 to assist livestock producers with hay transportation during drought.

• Some level of drought, from severe to exceptional, is impacting 442 of Tennessee’s 480 water systems.

• Check drought conditions for your zip code: https://www.drought.gov/drought/drought-my-backyard.

• Air quality will range from moderate through Middle Tennessee, to unhealthy in East Tennessee today.

• Air quality at: https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_state&stateid=44. Select “AQI Loop” to see how the air quality forecast will change.

• Wildfire information is at: www.BurnSafeTN.org.


CURRENT SITUATION


In response to Tennessee’s drought emergency on livestock producers, Gov. Bill Haslam issued Executive Order #59 today suspending rules related to vehicles transporting hay, permitting them to carry loads in excess of limits on height, width, and length.


There were 6 new fires in the past 24 hours in Tennessee impacting 30.1 acres. There are 12 major wildfires currently burning, and ranging from 75% to 100% containment. There are currently 62 active fires in Tennessee impacting 17,698 acres.


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued a proclamation on Nov. 14 declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee.


Residents in these areas of Tennessee where the smoky haze and smell is present do not need call 9-1-1 unless they see smoke actually rising from the ground.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan and set in place a Level 3 – State of Emergency, effective at 7 p.m., Central, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The State of Emergency will remain in place until conditions merit a return to normal, daily operations.


The State of Emergency allows multi-jurisdictional engagement of local, state, and federal personnel and resources to be sure Tennessee is positioned to respond effectively and quickly to protect lives and property from what is emerging as a prolonged drought and wildfire threat in the state.


Relief from the drought and wildfire threat is not imminent as weather forecasts are not showing any significant precipitation in Tennessee through the remainder of 2016.


WILDFIRES


Active Fires (fought in the last 24 hours)

NUMBER OF FIRES: 62 | ACRES BURNED: 17,698


Year to Date
TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRES: 1,323 | TOTAL ACRES BURNED: 42,551


Major Fires

• Bald Knob Rd. (Morgan) 452 acres, 90% contained
• East Miller Cove (Blount) 1,273 acres, 75% contained [FMAG]
• Lee Valley (“Boy Scout Camp”) (Hamblen) 296 acres, 100% contained
• Cool Branch Cove (Hancock) 334 acres, 100% contained
• Old Mountain Rd (Grainger) 201 acres, 100% contained
• HWY 165 (Monroe) 574 acres, 100% contained
• Neddy Mt (Cocke) 885 acres, 100% contained
• White Oak Circle (Morgan) 3,135 acres/100% contained
• Mile Marker 156 (Campbell) 922 acres, 100% contained
• Flippers Bend (Hamilton) 981 acres, 100% contained [FMAG]
• Poe Rd. (Hamilton) 712 acres, 98% contained
• Mowbray (Hamilton) 899 acres, 98% contained [FMAG, part of Smith Mtn. fire complex, which also includes Bench Bluff fire]


Air Quality
The Air Quality Index for Tennessee today shows moderate (Yellow) air quality for much of Middle Tennessee today. Air quality in East Tennessee, especially in Chattanooga, Knoxville, and the Smoky Mountains will range from Orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) to Red (Unhealthy).


Burn Bans
Gov. Haslam’s regional burn ban covers the following 51 counties: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Macon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.


More details at: http://www.tn.gov/news/46739


Effective immediately, residents in the counties covered by the regional ban are not permitted to conduct any open-air burning. The ban includes campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, household waste or construction debris. The ban will remain in effect until December 15.


Additionally, Marshall, Robertson, Sumner and Wilson counties in Middle Tennessee are under an Agriculture Commissioner ban on burning.


The Governor’s regional burn ban applies to open-air burning near woodlands and includes a prohibition of campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, and construction debris. Generally, the burn ban does NOT apply to cooking grills and other similar lighted devices that are well established in a confined, protected area away from woodlands. However, as a precaution, the disposal of hot grill ashes can be a fire hazard. Grill ashes should be allowed to completely cool or wetted before disposal in all cases. The burning of household waste is never allowed under state air quality laws. More information is available at: https://tn.gov/environment/article/apc-open-burning.


DROUGHT


Approximately 442 of Tennessee’s 480 water systems are experiencing some level of drought impact, ranging from severe to exceptional, with 260 water systems in a severe drought category and 182 systems in the extreme to exceptional drought range.


The current U.S. Drought Monitor report shows much of Tennessee in Severe to Exceptional drought status. An Extreme drought band stretches from lower Middle Tennessee through the Cumberland Plateau to the far eastern part of the State. Exceptional drought rules in the lower southeastern corner in the counties surrounding the Chattanooga area.


Details at: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?TN.


Counties in the exceptional drought category include: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, Meigs, McMinn, Monroe, Poke, Rhea, and Sequatchie.


Drought Resources

• County Ag extension agents are primary source of assistance for farmers.

• Hay availability website: http://picktnproducts.org

• The Farm Services Agency (FSA) has several of USDA’s disaster relief programs: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/index

• Agriculture Drought Information: https://extension.tennessee.edu/Pages/ANR-CED-Drought.aspx

• FSA has the Livestock Forage Program and Emergency Loans available to producers due to drought. In Tennessee if more information is needed about the Livestock Forage Program Ron Eldridge can be contacted at ron.eldridge@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2620. For Emergency Loans contact James Welborn at James.welborn@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2627.

TDEC’s Division of Water Resources webpage for listing of water systems in varying stages of drought response: http://tn.gov/environment/topic/wr-drought-planning


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES


Wildland firefighters from 10 states, including Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Washington are supporting Tennessee’s efforts to contain, control, and mitigate the wildfire threat. Another 20 State and Federal agencies are engaged in either fighting the wildfires directly or in coordinating the efforts and resources for those who are.


Since Sun., Nov. 6, the Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) has conducted 911 water air drop missions in support of wildfire fighting efforts in east Tennessee.


The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is staffed and TEMA coordination is ongoing through the SEOC with state and local partners involved in the wildfire response and drought monitoring. These partners include: the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


Tennessee State Parks has officially issued burn bans for the following state parks:

• Pickett State Park/Pogue Creek Canyon
• South Cumberland State Park
• Cumberland Mountain State Park
• Fall Creek Falls State Park
• Norris Dam State Park
• Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park


WEATHER FORECAST

• Very low relative humidity expected this afternoon for the eastern region of the state.
• High pressure continues to dominate the region.
• The possibility of rainfall returns by Wednesday as a cold front will move through the region Wednesday night.


KEY MESSAGE


The Tennessee Arson Hotline is 1-800-762-3017 and is answered 24 hours a day. Report arson activity also to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Crime Unit at 1-844-AGCRIME (1-844-242-7463). Callers may remain anonymous.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 18, 2016

TEMA Update on Drought & Wildfires, 11-18-16, 12 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• An approaching, though fast-moving, cold front MAY bring a slight chances of much-needed rain to Tennessee this weekend. Even small amounts of rain would help with the 11 major wildfires currently burning in Tennessee.

• Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) posts personal protection information for respiratory smoke exposure: http://tn.gov/health/news/46818.

• Check air quality information at: https://tn.gov/environment/article/apc-tennessee-air-quality-forecasting-program or www.airnow.gov.

• Check drought conditions for your zip code: https://www.drought.gov/drought/drought-my-backyard.


Tennessee arson hotline is 1-800-762-3017 and is answered 24 hours a day. Report arson activity also to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Crime Unit at 1-844-AGCRIME (1-844-242-7463). Callers may remain anonymous.


CURRENT SITUATION

New wildfires in Blount and Hancock counties have impacted more than 100 acres since yesterday. While the Blount County fire in East Miller Cove is 50% contained, firefighters are working today to contain the Hancock County fire in Cool Branch. There are now 11 major wildfires in Tennessee with nine of these ranging from 70% to 100% containment.


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued a proclamation on Nov. 14 declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee.


Residents in these areas of Tennessee where the smoky haze and smell is present do not need call 9-1-1 unless they see smoke actually rising from the ground.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan and set in place a Level 3 – State of Emergency, effective at 7 p.m., Central, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.


The State of Emergency allows multi-jurisdictional engagement of local, state, and federal personnel and resources to be sure Tennessee is positioned to respond effectively and quickly to protect lives and property from what is emerging as a prolonged drought and wildfire threat in the state.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also granted Tennessee two fire assistance grants to reimburse the state for costs associated with fighting the Smith Mountain wildfire in Sequatchie, Hamilton and Bledsoe County, and the Flippers Bend fire in Hamilton County.


Approximately 302 of Tennessee’s 480 water systems are experiencing some level of drought impact, ranging from moderate to exceptional. At least three counties have requested water for residents whose wells have run completely dry of water.


Relief from the drought and wildfire threat is not imminent as weather forecasts are not showing any significant precipitation in Tennessee through the remainder of 2016.


WILDFIRES


As of 7 p.m., Central, on 11-17-16, there had been 17 NEW fires in the previous 24 hours in Tennessee impacting 391 acres.


Active Fires (fought in the last 24 hours)

NUMBER OF FIRES: 64 | ACRES BURNED: 17,734


Year to Date
TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRES: 1,263 | TOTAL ACRES BURNED: 36,868


Major Fires

• East Miller Cove (Blount) unknown acres, 50% contained
• Cool Branch Cove (Hancock) 100 acres, 0% contained
• Neddy Mt (Cocke) 1,116 acres, 85% contained
• White Oak Circle (Morgan) 1,888 acres/100% contained
• Flippers Bend (Hamilton) 979 acres, 95% contained
• Poe Rd. (Hamilton) 712 acres, 80% contained
• Mowbray (Hamilton) 865 acres, 70% contained
• Hobbstown (Sequatchie) 181 acres/100% contained
• Sunshine (Sequatchie) 46 acres/100%
• Bench Bluff (Bledsoe) 2,109 acres, 100% contained
• Cave Cove (Marion) 170 acres, 90% contained


Air Quality
The Air Quality Index for Tennessee today shows a Code Orange patch from the Kentucky state line, through Cumberland Plateau, eastward past Knoxville, and up to the eastern tip of the State. A Code Orange air quality alert means those with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.


The remainder of Tennessee westward, to just beyond the Tennessee River is under a Code Yellow air quality alert, meaning sensitive groups should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.


Burn Bans
Gov. Haslam’s regional burn ban covers the following 51 counties: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Macon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.


More details at: http://www.tn.gov/news/46739.


Effective immediately, residents in the counties covered by the regional ban are not permitted to conduct any open-air burning. The ban includes campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, household waste or construction debris. The ban will remain in effect until December 15.


Additionally, Robertson, Marshall, and Sumner counties in Middle Tennessee are under an Agriculture Commissioner ban on burning.


The Governor’s regional burn ban applies to open-air burning near woodlands and includes a prohibition of campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, and construction debris. Generally, the burn ban does NOT apply to cooking grills and other similar lighted devices that are well established in a confined, protected area away from woodlands. However, as a precaution, the disposal of hot grill ashes can be a fire hazard. Grill ashes should be allowed to completely cool or wetted before disposal in all cases. The burning of household waste is never allowed under state air quality laws. More information is available at: https://tn.gov/environment/article/apc-open-burning.


DROUGHT


The current U.S. Drought Monitor report shows much of Tennessee in Severe to Exceptional drought status. An Extreme drought band stretches from lower Middle Tennessee through the Cumberland Plateau to the far eastern part of the State. Exceptional drought rules in the lower southeastern corner in the counties surrounding the Chattanooga area.


Details at: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?TN.


The area of extreme to exception drought in Tennessee is expanding. Approximately 107 water systems are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. Another 195 water systems are in the severe drought category.


Counties in the exceptional drought category include: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, Meigs, McMinn, Monroe, Poke, Rhea, and Sequatchie.


Drought Resources

• County Ag extension agents are primary source of assistance for farmers.

• Hay availability website: http://picktnproducts.org

• The Farm Services Agency (FSA) has several of USDA’s disaster relief programs: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/index

• Agriculture Drought Information: https://extension.tennessee.edu/Pages/ANR-CED-Drought.aspx

• FSA has the Livestock Forage Program and Emergency Loans available to producers due to drought. In Tennessee if more information is needed about the Livestock Forage Program Ron Eldridge can be contacted at ron.eldridge@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2620. For Emergency Loans contact James Welborn at James.welborn@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2627.

• TDEC’s Division of Water Resources webpage for listing of water systems in varying stages of drought response: http://tn.gov/environment/topic/wr-drought-planning


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES


Wildland firefighters from 10 states, including Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Washington are supporting Tennessee’s efforts to contain, control, and mitigate the wildfire threat. Another 20 State and Federal agencies are engaged in either fighting the wildfires directly or in coordinating the efforts and resources for those who are.


Since Sun., Nov. 6, the Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) has conducted 677 water air drop missions in support of wildfire fighting efforts in east Tennessee.


American Red Cross and TEMA are providing meals and water to Division of Forestry crews engaged in wildfire fight.


The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is staffed and TEMA coordination is ongoing through the SEOC with state and local partners involved in the wildfire response and drought monitoring. These partners include: the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


TEMA is assisting with water deliveries last week to residents in Bledsoe and Carter counties who are experience shortages.


Tennessee State Parks has officially issued burn bans for the following state parks:

• Pickett State Park/Pogue Creek Canyon
• South Cumberland State Park
• Cumberland Mountain State Park
• Fall Creek Falls State Park
• Norris Dam State Park
• Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park


WEATHER FORECAST


East TN – 60 percent chance of rain Saturday with highs in the 40s and lows in the mid-20s; sunny otherwise with 45% humidity; next chance of rain comes Wednesday next week.


Middle TN – Approaching cold front brings a chance of rain Friday and cooler temperatures Saturday, with highs in the 50s and lows around 30.


West TN – Thunderstorms this evening and tonight with cooler temperatures Satuday. Rain possibility again on Wednesday.


KEY MESSAGES

• Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning in your area.
• Remember, from October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire in Tennessee within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. The free permit can be obtained by phone or on online at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Local jurisdictions may have other ordinances and permitting systems in place for open-air burning.
• Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving.
• Have an adult present at all times when a bonfire, chiminea, fire pit, or outdoor fireplace is burning.
• A grill should be placed well away from buildings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. If using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned.
• If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½” mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
• Avoid throwing lit cigarettes out of vehicles. This type of litter can quickly start grass fires that can lead to dangerous traffic situations, such as low visibility and congestion.
• Never park a vehicle over a pile of leaves. The heat from the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system could ignite the leaves below.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• In the unfortunate event that a fire does get out of control, call 911 immediately and wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 17, 2016

TEMA Drought & Wildfires Update, 11-17-16, 2 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) posts personal protection information for respiratory smoke exposure: http://tn.gov/health/news/46818.

• Check air quality information at: https://tn.gov/environment/article/apc-tennessee-air-quality-forecasting-program or www.airnow.gov

• Check drought conditions for your zip code: https://www.drought.gov/drought/drought-my-backyard

• U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook shows drought persisting in the southeast U.S. through February 2017: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/sdo_summary.php


Tennessee arson hotline is 1-800-762-3017 and is answered 24 hours a day. Report arson activity also to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Crime Unit at 1-844-AGCRIME (1-844-242-7463). Callers may remain anonymous.


CURRENT SITUATION


The Air Quality Index for Tennessee shows Moderate air quality conditions covering the State. Moderate air quality means unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion outside. Patchy smoke from the wildfires will remain over the East Tennessee area today, reducing visibility and producing unhealthy air quality concentrations in some locations. Motorists need to use caution in areas near wildfires where dense smoke may greatly reduce visibility.


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued a proclamation on Nov. 14 declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee.


Residents in these areas of Tennessee where the smoky haze and smell is present do not need call 9-1-1 unless they see smoke actually rising from the ground.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan and set in place a Level 3 – State of Emergency, effective at 7 p.m., Central, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.


The State of Emergency allows multi-jurisdictional engagement of local, state, and federal personnel and resources to be sure Tennessee is positioned to respond effectively and quickly to protect lives and property from what is emerging as a prolonged drought and wildfire threat in the state.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also granted Tennessee two fire assistance grants to reimburse the state for costs associated with fighting the Smith Mountain wildfire in Sequatchie, Hamilton and Bledsoe County, and the Flippers Bend fire in Hamilton County.


Approximately 302 of Tennessee’s 480 water systems are experiencing some level of drought impact, ranging from moderate to exceptional. At least three counties have requested water for residents whose wells have run completely dry of water.


Relief from the drought and wildfire threat is not imminent as weather forecasts are not showing any significant precipitation in Tennessee through the remainder of 2016.


WILDFIRES


There have been 17 NEW fires in the previous 24 hours in Tennessee impacting 200 acres.


Active Fires (fought in the last 24 hours)

NUMBER OF FIRES: 64 | ACRES BURNED: 17,734


Year to Date
TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRES: 1,263 | TOTAL ACRES BURNED: 36,868


Major Fires

• Cave Cove 120 acres, 30% containment
• Bench Bluff (Bledsoe) 1,400 acres, 95% contained
• Sunshine (Sequatchie) 46 acres/100%
• Hobbstown (Sequatchie) 181 acres/100%
• Neddy Mt (Cocke) 1,116 acres, 85% containment
• White Oak Circle (Morgan) 1,888 acres/100% contained
• Flippers Bend (Hamilton) 979 acres, 95% contained
• Poe Rd. (Hamilton) 707 acres, 70% contained
• Mowbray (Hamilton) 830 acres, 70% contained


Burn Bans

Gov. Haslam’s regional burn ban covers the following 51 counties: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Macon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.


More details at: http://www.tn.gov/news/46739


Effective immediately, residents in the counties covered by the regional ban are not permitted to conduct any open-air burning. The ban includes campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, household waste or construction debris. The ban will remain in effect until December 15.


Additionally, Robertson and Sumner counties in Middle Tennessee are under an Agriculture Commissioner ban on burning.


The Governor’s regional burn ban applies to open-air burning near woodlands and includes a prohibition of campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, and construction debris. Generally, the burn ban does NOT apply to cooking grills and other similar lighted devices that are well established in a confined, protected area away from woodlands.


However, as a precaution, the disposal of hot grill ashes can be a fire hazard. Grill ashes should be allowed to completely cool or wetted before disposal in all cases. The burning of household waste is never allowed under state air quality laws. More information is available at: https://tn.gov/environment/article/apc-open-burning.


DROUGHT


The current U.S. Drought Monitor report shows much of Tennessee in Severe to Exceptional drought status. An Extreme drought band stretches from lower Middle Tennessee through the Cumberland Plateau to the far eastern part of the State. Exceptional drought rules in the lower southeastern corner in the counties surrounding the Chattanooga area.


Details at: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?TN.


The area of extreme to exception drought in Tennessee is expanding. Approximately 107 water systems are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. Another 195 water systems are in the severe drought category.


Counties in the exceptional drought category include: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, Meigs, McMinn, Monroe, Poke, Rhea, and Sequatchie.


Drought Resources

• County Ag extension agents are primary source of assistance for farmers.

• Hay availability website: http://picktnproducts.org

• The Farm Services Agency (FSA) has several of USDA’s disaster relief programs: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/index

• Agriculture Drought Information: https://extension.tennessee.edu/Pages/ANR-CED-Drought.aspx

• FSA has the Livestock Forage Program and Emergency Loans available to producers due to drought. In Tennessee if more information is needed about the Livestock Forage Program Ron Eldridge can be contacted at ron.eldridge@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2620. For Emergency Loans contact James Welborn at James.welborn@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2627.

• TDEC’s Division of Water Resources webpage for listing of water systems in varying stages of drought response: http://tn.gov/environment/topic/wr-drought-planning


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES


Since Sun., Nov. 6, the Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) has conducted 540 water air drop missions in support of wildfire fighting efforts in east Tennessee.


American Red Cross and TEMA are providing meals and water to Division of Forestry crews engaged in wildfire fight.


The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is staffed and TEMA coordination is ongoing through the SEOC with state and local partners involved in the wildfire response and drought monitoring. These partners include: the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


TEMA is assisting with water deliveries last week to residents in Bledsoe and Carter counties who are experience shortages.


Tennessee State Parks has officially issued burn bans for the following state parks:

• Pickett State Park/Pogue Creek Canyon
• South Cumberland State Park
• Cumberland Mountain State Park
• Fall Creek Falls State Park
• Norris Dam State Park
• Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park


WEATHER FORECAST

• Air quality forecasted for moderate in Tennessee through Thursday.

• Winds will be light in the afternoon, between 5 m.p.h. and 10 m.p.h.

• Relative humidity in the 25% to 35% range, which is drier than Wednesday.

• Drought continues with no chance for precipitation through Friday.

• A cold front early Saturday morning may produce a chance of showers.

• Cooler and drier conditions Saturday afternoon through Monday.


KEY MESSAGES

• Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning in your area.
• Remember, from October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire in Tennessee within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. The free permit can be obtained by phone or on online at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Local jurisdictions may have other ordinances and permitting systems in place for open-air burning.
• Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving.
• Have an adult present at all times when a bonfire, chiminea, fire pit, or outdoor fireplace is burning.
• A grill should be placed well away from buildings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. If using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned.
• If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½” mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
• Avoid throwing lit cigarettes out of vehicles. This type of litter can quickly start grass fires that can lead to dangerous traffic situations, such as low visibility and congestion.
• Never park a vehicle over a pile of leaves. The heat from the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system could ignite the leaves below.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• In the unfortunate event that a fire does get out of control, call 911 immediately and wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 16, 2016

TEMA Update on Tennessee Drought Conditions & Wildfires, 11-16-16, 2 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• Code Red (East TN) and Code Orange (Middle TN) air quality alerts in place today.

• Check air quality information at: https://tn.gov/environment/article/apc-tennessee-air-quality-forecasting-program

• Tennessee arson hotline is 1-800-762-3017 and is answered 24 hours a day. Report arson activity also to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Crime Unit at 1-844-AGCRIME (1-844-242-7463). Callers may remain anonymous.

• Check drought conditions for your zip code: https://www.drought.gov/drought/drought-my-backyard

• Level 3 – State of Emergency remains in place due to ongoing drought conditions and wildfire threats.


CURRENT SITUATION


The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), and the National Weather Service (NWS) are informing East and Middle Tennesseans about the impact of the wildfire smoke in on the general population, and especially on at-risk populations – those with health and lung conditions, and older and younger populations.


TDEC has a Code Red air quality alert in place today for the Chattanooga, Knoxville, Great Smoky Mountains, and Tri-Cities areas of Tennessee. Code Red means the air quality is in the unhealthy range where the general population may experience health effects and more sensitive groups to air quality may have more serious impacts.


A Code Orange alert is in place for the Nashville which means special populations – those with lung disease, older adults, and children – are at a greater risk of health impacts from the quality of the air.


The National Weather Service also issued a Special Weather Statement today for almost 30 East Tennessee counties advising residents that the smoke from the wildfires in Tennessee (and surrounding states) will remain over the area today.


NWS Special Weather Statement http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=mrx&wwa=special+weather+statement


The NWS’s statement advises residents and visitors to remain indoors or limit time outside to avoid excessive exposure to the smoke, and says those with breathing conditions should remain inside, make sure their windows are closed, and air intake systems are shut down.


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued a proclamation on Nov. 14 declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee.


Residents in these areas of Tennessee where the smoky haze and smell is present do not need call 9-1-1 unless they see smoke actually rising from the ground.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan and set in place a Level 3 – State of Emergency, effective at 7 p.m., Central, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.


The State of Emergency allows multi-jurisdictional engagement of local, state, and federal personnel and resources to be sure Tennessee is positioned to respond effectively and quickly to protect lives and property from what is emerging as a prolonged drought and wildfire threat in the state.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also granted Tennessee two fire assistance grants to reimburse the state for costs associated with fighting the Smith Mountain wildfire in Sequatchie, Hamilton and Bledsoe County, and the Flippers Bend fire in Hamilton County.


Approximately 302 of Tennessee’s 480 water systems are experiencing some level of drought impact, ranging from moderate to exceptional. At least three counties have requested water for residents whose wells have run completely dry of water.


Relief from the drought and wildfire threat is not imminent as weather forecasts are not showing any significant precipitation in Tennessee through the remainder of 2016.


WILDFIRES


There have been 9 NEW fires in the previous 24 hours in Tennessee impacting 90 acres.


Active Fires (fought in the past 24 hours)

FIRES: 67 | ACRES BURNED: 17,493

Year to Date

TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRES: 1,238 | TOTAL ACRES BURNED: 36,865


Major Fires

• Neddy Mt (Cocke) 1,007 acres, 85% containment; evacuations lifted
• White Oak Circle (Morgan) 1,888 acres/100% contained
• Flippers Bend (Hamilton) 1000 acres, 95% contained
• Poe Rd. (Hamilton) 686 acres, 60% contained
• Mowbray (Hamilton) 830 acres, 70% contained
• Hobbstown (Sequatchie) 65 acres/100%
• Sunshine (Sequatchie) 65 acres/100%
• Bench Bluff (Bledsoe) 1,400 acres, 100% contained


Air Quality

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has a Code Red Air Quality Alert in place today (11/16/16) for the following MSAs:

• Chattanooga
• Knoxville
• Great Smoky Mountains
• Tri-Cities


A Code Orange alert is in place today for the Nashville area.


Burn Bans
Gov. Haslam’s regional burn ban covers the following 51 counties: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Macon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.


More details at: http://www.tn.gov/news/46739 .


Effective immediately, residents in the counties covered by the regional ban are not permitted to conduct any open-air burning. The ban includes campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, household waste or construction debris. The ban will remain in effect until December 15.


Additionally, Robertson and Sumner counties in Middle Tennessee are under an Agriculture Commissioner ban on burning.


The Governor’s regional burn ban applies to open-air burning near woodlands and includes a prohibition of campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, and construction debris. Generally, the burn ban does NOT apply to cooking grills and other similar lighted devices that are well established in a confined, protected area away from woodlands.


However, as a precaution, the disposal of hot grill ashes can be a fire hazard. Grill ashes should be allowed to completely cool or wetted before disposal in all cases. The burning of household waste is never allowed under state air quality laws. More information is available at: https://tn.gov/environment/article/apc-open-burning.


DROUGHT


The area of extreme to exception drought in Tennessee is expanding. Approximately 107 water systems are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. Another 195 water systems are in the severe drought category.


Counties in the exceptional drought category include: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, Meigs, McMinn, Monroe, Poke, Rhea, and Sequatchie.


Drought Resources

• County Ag extension agents are primary source of assistance for farmers.

• Hay availability website: http://picktnproducts.org

• The Farm Services Agency (FSA) has several of USDA’s disaster relief programs: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/index

• Agriculture Drought Information: https://extension.tennessee.edu/Pages/ANR-CED-Drought.aspx

• FSA has the Livestock Forage Program and Emergency Loans available to producers due to drought. In Tennessee if more information is needed about the Livestock Forage Program Ron Eldridge can be contacted at ron.eldridge@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2620. For Emergency Loans contact James Welborn at James.welborn@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2627.

• TDEC’s Division of Water Resources webpage for listing of water systems in varying stages of drought response: http://tn.gov/environment/topic/wr-drought-planning


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES


Since Sun., Nov. 6, the Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) has conducted 511 water air drop missions in support of wildfire fighting efforts in east Tennessee.


American Red Cross and TEMA are providing meals and water to Division of Forestry crews engaged in wildfire fight.


The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is staffed and TEMA coordination is ongoing through the SEOC with state and local partners involved in the wildfire response and drought monitoring. These partners include: the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


TEMA is assisting with water deliveries last week to residents in Bledsoe and Carter counties who are experience shortages.


Tennessee State Parks has officially issued burn bans for the following state parks:

• Pickett State Park/Pogue Creek Canyon
• South Cumberland State Park
• Cumberland Mountain State Park
• Fall Creek Falls State Park
• Norris Dam State Park
• Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park


WEATHER FORECAST

• Above average temperatures and low relative humidities expected over through early Friday.

• A cold front will pass through the state Friday afternoon and night bringing increased precipitation.

• Best chances of precipitation continue to be west Tennessee that could see anywhere from 0.3 to 1.0 inches of rain. Middle Tennessee may see 0.25 inches. The eastern region of the state also has a chance of receiving some precipitation from this system.

• Smoke-induced poor air quality and reduced visibilities from wildfires will continue through at least Thursday.


KEY MESSAGES

• Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning in your area.
• Remember, from October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire in Tennessee within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. The free permit can be obtained by phone or on online at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Local jurisdictions may have other ordinances and permitting systems in place for open-air burning.
• Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving.
• Have an adult present at all times when a bonfire, chiminea, fire pit, or outdoor fireplace is burning.
• A grill should be placed well away from buildings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. If using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned.
• If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½” mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
• Avoid throwing lit cigarettes out of vehicles. This type of litter can quickly start grass fires that can lead to dangerous traffic situations, such as low visibility and congestion.
• Never park a vehicle over a pile of leaves. The heat from the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system could ignite the leaves below.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• In the unfortunate event that a fire does get out of control, call 911 immediately and wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 15, 2016

TEMA Drought & Wildfires Update, 11-15-16, 2 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• Gov. Bill Haslam issues burn ban for 51 Tennessee counties. Details here: http://www.tn.gov/news/46739

• Check drought conditions for your zip code: https://www.drought.gov/drought/drought-my-backyard

• Air quality information is available at https://tn.gov/environment/article/apc-tennessee-air-quality-forecasting-program

• Level 3 – State of Emergency remains in place due to ongoing drought conditions and wildfire threats.

• Next rain chance expected into the weekend.


TENNESSEE ARSON HOTLINE: 1-800-762-3017


CURRENT SITUATION


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has issued a proclamation declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee.


Wildfire smoke and haze has lessened in Middle Tennessee today but is still present in a large portion of East Tennessee. Residents in these areas of Tennessee will see and smell smoke. Residents do not need call 9-1-1 unless they see smoke actually rising from the ground.


Wildfire smoke has hit Chattanooga-area residents particularly hard. Tennessee Department of Health reports more than 200 patients have been hospitalized in Chattanooga for shortness of breath and other breathing difficulties related to the circle of wildfires surrounding the city. Since Fri., Nov. 11, CHI Memorial has treated 96 patients from Chattanooga and Hixson for breathing difficulties related to the smoke, including 37 in the past 24 hours. Erlanger has treated nearly 120 patients for shortness of breath also since Nov. 1.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan and set in place a Level 3 – State of Emergency, effective at 7 p.m., Central, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.


The State of Emergency allows multi-jurisdictional engagement of local, state, and federal personnel and resources to be sure Tennessee is positioned to respond effectively and quickly to protect lives and property from what is emerging as a prolonged drought and wildfire threat in the state.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also granted Tennessee two fire assistance grants to reimburse the state for costs associated with fighting the Smith Mountain wildfire in Sequatchie, Hamilton and Bledsoe County, and the Flippers Bend fire in Hamilton County.


Approximately 302 of Tennessee’s 480 water systems are experiencing some level of drought impact, ranging from moderate to exceptional. At least three counties have requested water for residents whose wells have run completely dry of water.


In the past month, an estimated 6,000 to 6,200 acres have burned due to wildfires in Bledsoe, Hamilton, Monroe, and Sequatchie counties.


There have been 15 NEW fires in the previous 24 hours in Tennessee impacting 293 acres.


Relief from the drought and wildfire threat is not imminent as weather forecasts are not showing any significant precipitation in Tennessee through the remainder of 2016.


WILDFIRES


Active Fires (fought in the past 24 hours, totals as of 7 p.m., 11-14-16)

FIRES: 67 | ACRES BURNED: 15,914

Year to Date

TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRES: 1,238 | TOTAL ACRES BURNED: 36,864


Major Fires

• Neddy Mt (Cocke) 885 acres, 75% contained
• Flippers Bend (Hamilton) 1000 acres, 95% contained
• Poe Rd. (Hamilton) 550 acres, 60% contained
• Mowbray (Hamilton) 800 acres, 70% contained
• White Oak Circle (Morgan) 1888 acres, 70% contained
• Bench Bluff (Bledsoe) 1,800 acres, 95% contained
• Smith Mt (Sequatchie) 960 acres, 100% contained
• Cliff Tops (Marion) 80 acres, 100% contained
• Stiles (Monroe) 225 acres, 100% contained


Air Quality

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has a Code Orange Air Quality Alert in place today (11/15/16) for the following MSAs:

• Chattanooga
• Knoxville
• Great Smoky Mountains
• Tri-Cities


A Code Orange Air Quality Alert means that although the general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.


Depending on wind direction and proximity to the wildfires, some areas, such as Chattanooga, may have higher air quality concentrations in the Red category, which will have wider health impacts on the general population and cause more serious effects on sensitive groups.


Tomorrow (11/16/16) TDEC will have a Code Red air quality alert in place for the Chattanooga, Knoxville, Great Smoky Mountains, and Tri-Cities areas. A Code Orange alert will be in place tomorrow for the Nashville area.


Burn Bans

Gov. Haslam’s regional burn ban covers the following 51 counties: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Macon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Trousdale, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.


Effective immediately, residents in the counties covered by the regional ban are not permitted to conduct any open-air burning. The ban includes campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, household waste or construction debris. The ban will remain in effect until December 15.


Additionally, Robertson and Sumner counties in Middle Tennessee are under an Agriculture Commissioner ban on burning.


DROUGHT


The area of extreme to exception drought in Tennessee is expanding. Approximately 107 water systems are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. Another 195 water systems are in the severe drought category.


Counties in the exceptional drought category include: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, Meigs, McMinn, Monroe, Poke, Rhea, and Sequatchie.


Drought Resources

• County Ag extension agents are primary source of assistance for farmers.

• Hay availability website: http://picktnproducts.org

• The Farm Services Agency (FSA) has several of USDA’s disaster relief programs: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/index

• Agriculture Drought Information: https://extension.tennessee.edu/Pages/ANR-CED-Drought.aspx

• FSA has the Livestock Forage Program and Emergency Loans available to producers due to drought. In Tennessee if more information is needed about the Livestock Forage Program Ron Eldridge can be contacted at ron.eldridge@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2620. For Emergency Loans contact James Welborn at James.welborn@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2627.

• TDEC’s Division of Water Resources webpage for listing of water systems in varying stages of drought response: http://tn.gov/environment/topic/wr-drought-planning


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES


Since Sun., Nov. 6, the Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) has conducted 476 water air drop missions in support of wildfire fighting efforts in east Tennessee.


American Red Cross and TEMA are providing meals and water to Division of Forestry crews engaged in wildfire fight.


The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is staffed and TEMA coordination is ongoing through the SEOC with state and local partners involved in the wildfire response and drought monitoring. These partners include: the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


TEMA is assisting with water deliveries last week to residents in Bledsoe and Carter counties who are experience shortages.


Tennessee State Parks has officially issued burn bans for the following state parks:

• Pickett State Park/Pogue Creek Canyon
• South Cumberland State Park
• Cumberland Mountain State Park
• Fall Creek Falls State Park
• Norris Dam State Park
• Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park


WEATHER FORECAST

Best chance of rain is Friday, possibly into Saturday for the western region of the state. The system will weaken as it crosses eastward with diminishing chances of precipitation in the eastern half of the state. Relative humidity will increase with the passage of the system. Expect highs temperatures in the mid to upper 60s and lows in the upper 30s.


KEY MESSAGES

• Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning in your area.
• Remember, from October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire in Tennessee within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. The free permit can be obtained by phone or on online at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Local jurisdictions may have other ordinances and permitting systems in place for open-air burning.
• Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving.
• Have an adult present at all times when a bonfire, chiminea, fire pit, or outdoor fireplace is burning.
• A grill should be placed well away from buildings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. If using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned.
• If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½” mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
• Avoid throwing lit cigarettes out of vehicles. This type of litter can quickly start grass fires that can lead to dangerous traffic situations, such as low visibility and congestion.
• Never park a vehicle over a pile of leaves. The heat from the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system could ignite the leaves below.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• In the unfortunate event that a fire does get out of control, call 911 immediately and wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 14, 2016

TEMA Update on Drought and Wildfires, 11-14-16, 12 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• Level 3 – State of Emergency remains in place due to ongoing drought conditions and wildfire threats.

• Code Orange air quality alert for east and middle Tennessee. Air quality information is available at https://tn.gov/environment/article/apc-tennessee-air-quality-forecasting-program

• SEOC staffed and operational in Nashville with State agency partners engaged in drought and wildfire response and situational coordination.

• Next rain chance expected into the weekend.


TENNESSEE ARSON HOTLINE: 1-800-762-3017


CURRENT SITUATION


Wildfire smoke and haze is intruding large portions of middle and east Tennessee from the wildfires burning in the state and in states bordering Tennessee, including Kentucky. Residents in these areas of Tennessee will see and smell smoke. Residents do not need call 9-1-1 unless they see smoke actually rising from the ground.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan and set in place a Level 3 – State of Emergency, effective at 7 p.m., Central, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.


The State of Emergency allows multi-jurisdictional engagement of local, state, and federal personnel and resources to be sure Tennessee is positioned to respond effectively and quickly to protect lives and property from what is emerging as a prolonged drought and wildfire threat in the state.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also granted Tennessee two fire assistance grants to reimburse the state for costs associated with fighting the Smith Mountain wildfire in Sequatchie, Hamilton and Bledsoe County, and the Flippers Bend fire in Hamilton County.


Approximately 302 of Tennessee’s 480 water systems are experiencing some level of drought impact, ranging from moderate to exceptional. At least three counties have requested water for residents whose wells have run completely dry of water.


In the past month, an estimated 6,000 to 6,200 acres have burned due to wildfires in Bledsoe, Hamilton, Monroe, and Sequatchie counties.


Currently, there are 74 active fires in Tennessee impacting 13,224 acres. On Wed., Nov. 9, 2016, residents in 10 to 15 homes near the Flippers Bend fire in Hamilton County were evacuated. An additional wildfire in Hamilton County and wildfires in Campbell and Sequatchie counties are also threatening homes and property.


Relief from the drought and wildfire threat is not imminent as weather forecasts are not showing any significant precipitation in Tennessee through the remainder of 2016.


WILDFIRES


Active Fires (fought in the past 24 hours)
FIRES: 74 | ACRES BURNED: 13,224


Year to Date
TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRES: 1,211 | TOTAL ACRES BURNED: 34,633


Major Fires

• Flippers Bend (Hamilton) 1000 acres, 90% contained
• Poe Rd. (Hamilton) 550 acres, 40% contained
• Mowbray (Hamilton) 750 acres, 70% contained
• Smith Mtn. (Sequatchie) 960 acres, 100% contained
• Bench Bluff (Bledsoe) 1,400 acres, 100% contained
• Cliff Tops (Marion) 80 acres, 100% contained
• Neddy Mtn. (Cocke) 425 acres, 70% contained


Highway 25-70, between Bucks Way and Highway 340, in Cocke County will have rolling roadblocks until approximately 3 p.m. due to public safety concerns and the safety personnel fighting the Neddy Mtn. fire in that area.


Air Quality

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is expanding the Code Orange Air Quality Alert today to the following MSAs:

• Chattanooga
• Knoxville
• Great Smoky Mountains
• Tri-Cities
• Nashville


Wildfires along the plateau and in the Great Smoky Mountains have intensified and an inversion layer will keep smoke near the surface.


A Code Orange Air Quality Alert means that although the general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.


Burn Bans (In Place Until Further Notice)

Bledsoe, Clairborne, Cumberland, Hamilton, Jefferson, Loudon, Polk, Marion, Monroe, Robertson, Sequatchie and Sevier counties

• The ban applies to all open-air burning including leaf and woody debris and construction burning, campfires and other fire activity outside of municipalities where local ordinances apply.
• Under state law, the Commissioner of Agriculture, in consultation with the State Forester, has the authority to issue burn bans at the request of county mayors under certain weather conditions. Requests from county mayors for a burn ban are considered in consultation with the State Forester based on a number of factors including weather, climate, fire danger and occurrence and resource availability.
• A violation of a Commissioner of Agriculture imposed burn ban is considered reckless burning and is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months 29 days in jail.


DROUGHT


The area of extreme to exception drought in Tennessee is expanding. Approximately 107 water systems are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. Another 195 water systems are in the severe drought category.


Counties in the exceptional drought category include: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, Meigs, McMinn, Monroe, Poke, Rhea, and Sequatchie.


Drought Resources

• County Ag extension agents are primary source of assistance for farmers.

• Hay availability website: http://picktnproducts.org

• The Farm Services Agency (FSA) has several of USDA’s disaster relief programs: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/index

• Agriculture Drought Information: https://extension.tennessee.edu/Pages/ANR-CED-Drought.aspx

• FSA has the Livestock Forage Program and Emergency Loans available to producers due to drought. In Tennessee if more information is needed about the Livestock Forage Program Ron Eldridge can be contacted at ron.eldridge@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2620. For Emergency Loans contact James Welborn at James.welborn@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2627.

• TDEC’s Division of Water Resources webpage for listing of water systems in varying stages of drought response: http://tn.gov/environment/topic/wr-drought-planning


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES


The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is staffed and TEMA coordination is ongoing through the SEOC with state and local partners involved in the wildfire response and drought monitoring. These partners include: the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


TEMA is assisting with water deliveries last week to residents in Bledsoe and Carter counties who are experience shortages. Another delivery to Bledsoe County will occur this week.


Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) personnel are assisting with the wildfire response in providing TNARG helicopters for wildfire water drops and observation missions.


Tennessee State Parks has officially issued burn bans for the following state parks:

• Pickett State Park/Pogue Creek Canyon
• South Cumberland State Park
• Cumberland Mountain State Park
• Fall Creek Falls State Park
• Norris Dam State Park
• Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park


WEATHER FORECAST

Air quality not likely to improve over the next couple of days in the southeastern portion of Tennessee as winds are not strong enough to clear the smoke out


Next best chance of rain is into next weekend for most of the state. Relative humidity expected to rise with the approach of that precipitation.


Over the next few days, expect highs temperatures in the mid to upper 60s and lows in the upper 30s


KEY MESSAGES

• Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning in your area.
• Remember, from October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire in Tennessee within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. The free permit can be obtained by phone or on online at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Local jurisdictions may have other ordinances and permitting systems in place for open-air burning.
• Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving.
• Have an adult present at all times when a bonfire, chiminea, fire pit, or outdoor fireplace is burning.
• A grill should be placed well away from buildings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. If using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned.
• If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½” mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
• Avoid throwing lit cigarettes out of vehicles. This type of litter can quickly start grass fires that can lead to dangerous traffic situations, such as low visibility and congestion.
• Never park a vehicle over a pile of leaves. The heat from the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system could ignite the leaves below.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• In the unfortunate event that a fire does get out of control, call 911 immediately and wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 11, 2016

TEMA Update on Drought and Wildfires, 11-11-16, 1 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• Level 3 – State of Emergency in place due to ongoing drought conditions and wildfire threats.

• TEMA worked with State Forestry and FEMA on second wildfire management assistance grant for the Smith Mountain wildfire complex in Bledsoe, Sequatchie and Hamilton counties

• Air quality conditions in the lower Cumberland Valley are concern, especially those with breathing conditions.

• Cooler temperatures and lower humidity persist with the next chance of any significant rain seven days away.


CURRENT SITUATION


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan and set in place a Level 3 – State of Emergency, effective at 7 p.m., Central, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.


The State of Emergency allows multi-jurisdictional engagement of local, state, and federal personnel and resources to be sure Tennessee is positioned to respond effectively and quickly to protect lives and property from what is emerging as a prolonged drought and wildfire threat in the state.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also granted today a fire assistance grant to reimburse the state for costs associated with fighting the Smith Mountain wildfire complex that includes the fires on Smith Mountain in Sequatchie County, Mowbary in Hamilton County, and Bench Bluff in Bledsoe County.


FEMA granted federal fire assistance to Tennessee on Wednesday for the Flippers Bend Fire in Hamilton County.


Approximately 302 of Tennessee’s 480 water systems are experiencing some level of drought impact, ranging from moderate to exceptional. At least three counties have requested water for residents whose wells have run completely dry of water.


In the past month, an estimated 6,000 to 6,200 acres have burned due to wildfires in Bledsoe, Hamilton, Monroe, and Sequatchie counties.
Currently, there are 53 active fires in Tennessee impacting 9,680 acres. On Wed., Nov. 9, 2016, residents in 10 to 15 homes near the Flippers Bend fire in Hamilton County were evacuated. An additional wildfire in Hamilton County and wildfires in Campbell and Sequatchie counties are also threatening homes and property.


Relief from the drought and wildfire threat is not imminent as weather forecasts are not showing any significant precipitation in Tennessee through the remainder of 2016.


WILDFIRES


Active Fires (fought in the past 24 hours):
FIRES: 53 | ACRES BURNED: 9,680


Year to Date
TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRES: 1,165 | TOTAL ACRES BURNED: 32,655


Burn Bans
Claiborne, Cumberland, Jefferson, Loudon, Marion, Monroe, Robertson, Sevier


The Tennessee Department of Agriculture does not expect any No Safe Burning Permits to be issued statewide until the State receives substantial precipitation.


The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) issued a Code Orange air quality alert today (Nov. 11, 2016) for the Chattanooga metropolitan area, which includes Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in Georgia. A Code Orange Air Quality Alert means persons with heart and lung disease, older adults, and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.


DROUGHT

The area of extreme to exception drought in Tennessee is expanding. Approximately 107 water systems are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. Another 195 water systems are in the severe drought category.


Counties in the exceptional drought category include: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, Meigs, McMinn, Monroe, Poke, Rhea, and Sequatchie.


Drought Resources

• County Ag extension agents are primary source of assistance for farmers.

• Hay availability website: http://picktnproducts.org

• The Farm Services Agency (FSA) has several of USDA’s disaster relief programs: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/index

• Agriculture Drought Information: https://extension.tennessee.edu/Pages/ANR-CED-Drought.aspx

• FSA has the Livestock Forage Program and Emergency Loans available to producers due to drought. In Tennessee if more information is needed about the Livestock Forage Program Ron Eldridge can be contacted at ron.eldridge@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2620. For Emergency Loans contact James Welborn at James.welborn@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2627.

• TDEC’s Division of Water Resources webpage for listing of water systems in varying stages of drought response: http://tn.gov/environment/topic/wr-drought-planning


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES


The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is staffed with representatives from TEMA, Tennessee Department of Human Resources, and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (TN VOAD).


TEMA coordination is ongoing through the SEOC with state and local partners involved in the wildfire response and drought monitoring. These partners include: the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


TEMA is assisting with water deliveries last week to residents in Bledsoe and Carter counties who are experience shortages. Another delivery to Bledsoe County will occur this week.


Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) personnel are assisting with the wildfire response in providing TNARG helicopters for wildfire water drops and observation missions.


Tennessee State Parks has officially issued burn bans for the following state parks:

• Pickett State Park/Pogue Creek Canyon
• South Cumberland State Park
• Cumberland Mountain State Park
• Fall Creek Falls State Park
• Norris Dam State Park
• Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park


WEATHER FORECAST


East Tennessee – Increasing winds with 30 percent humidity and temperatures in the lower to upper 60s. Cooler temps expected Saturday and lighter winds Sunday. Slight chance of rain Tuesday night, with more significant rain chance closer to the next weekend.


Middle Tennessee – Dry font in the area today with 35 percent humidity and increasing winds. Slight chance of rain Monday night and Tuesday. Dry conditions remain next week with greater chance of precipitation Friday night.


West Tennessee – Widespread frost possible Saturday to Sunday with daytime temps in the 60s. Rain possibly Monday night and a better chance of rain Saturday.

While Tennessee’s chances of rain over the next week may help the wildfire fight, the drought conditions will persist even with the rainfall expected, according to the National Weather Service.


KEY MESSAGES

• Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning in your area.
• Remember, from October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire in Tennessee within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. The free permit can be obtained by phone or on online at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Local jurisdictions may have other ordinances and permitting systems in place for open-air burning.
• Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving.
• Have an adult present at all times when a bonfire, chiminea, fire pit, or outdoor fireplace is burning.
• A grill should be placed well away from buildings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. If using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned.
• If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½” mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
• Avoid throwing lit cigarettes out of vehicles. This type of litter can quickly start grass fires that can lead to dangerous traffic situations, such as low visibility and congestion.
• Never park a vehicle over a pile of leaves. The heat from the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system could ignite the leaves below.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• In the unfortunate event that a fire does get out of control, call 911 immediately and wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 10, 2016

State of Emergency in Tennessee from Continued Drought and Wildfire Threats


This evening the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan (TEMP) in response to the drought and wildfire impacts, and continued threat, in the State.


There is now a Level 3 – State of Emergency in place for Tennessee, as of 7 p.m., Central, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.


Statement from TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan

“Approximately 302 of Tennessee’s 480 water systems are experiencing some level of drought impact, ranging from moderate to exceptional. At least three counties have requested water for residents whose wells have run completely dry of water.


In the past month, an estimated 6,000 to 6,200 acres have burned due to wildfires in Bledsoe, Hamilton, Monroe, and Sequatchie counties. Currently, there are 53 active fires in Tennessee impacting 9,680 acres. On Wed., Nov. 9, 2016, residents in 10 to 15 homes near the Flippers Bend fire in Hamilton County were evacuated. An additional wildfire in Hamilton County and wildfires in Campbell and Sequatchie counties are also threatening homes and property.


Furthermore, relief from the drought and wildfire threat is not imminent as weather forecasts are not showing any significant precipitation in Tennessee through the remainder of 2016.


The State of Emergency will allow TEMA to engage personnel and resources from our State and Federal partners to be sure we are in a position to respond effectively and quickly to protect lives and property from what is emerging as a prolonged drought and wildfire threat in Tennessee.”


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

Tennessee Drought and Wildfires Update, 11-10-16, 4 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• TEMA works with FEMA on fire assistance grant for Flippers Bend fire in Hamilton County.

• Three counties – Campbell, Hamilton, Sequatchie – have homes under threat of fire impact.

• Moderate to exceptional drought conditions felt across all of Tennessee.

• Weather trend of low humidity will continue. Lower night temps ease fire spread.


CURRENT SITUATION
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized federal funds to reimburse the State of Tennessee for costs association to fight the Flippers Bend fire in Hamilton County. The authorization makes FEMA grant funding available to reimburse 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs for labor, equipment, and supplies used to fight the fire.


Approximately 10 to 15 homes near the Flippers Bend fire were evacuated on Wed., Nov. 9 with residents relocating to stay with family members.


Homes near the Stinking Creek and Trail #17 fires in Campbell County, the Smith Mountain fire in Sequatchie County, and the Mowbary fire in Hamilton County are under threat also.


In the last month an estimated 6,000 to 6,200 acres have burned in Bledsoe, Hamilton, Monroe, and Sequatchie counties.


Regarding drought monitoring, large areas of East and Middle Tennessee, and the southeastern corner of West Tennessee, have counties in the severe to exceptional drought ranges.


Approximately 302 of Tennessee 480 water systems are experiencing some level of drought impact.


ISSUES BY AREA


Wildfires


Active Fires (fought in the past 24 hours):
FIRES: 53 | ACRES BURNED: 9,680


Calendar year to date
TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRES: 1,165 | TOTAL ACRES BURNED: 32,655


The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has instituted burn bans for six counties: Claiborne, Jefferson, Loudon, Monroe, Roberson, and Sevier. Agriculture does not expect any No Safe Burning Permits to be issued statewide until the State receives substantial precipitation.


The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will issue a Code Orange air quality alert on Nov. 11 for the Chattanooga metropolitan area, which includes Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in Georgia. A Code Orange Air Quality Alert means that although the general public is not likely to be affected, persons with heart and lung disease, older adults, and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.


Water Supply

The area of extreme to exception drought in Tennessee is expanding into upper East Tennessee. Approximately 107 water systems are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. Another 195 water systems are in the severe drought category.


Counties in the exceptional drought category include: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, Meigs, McMinn, Monroe, Poke, Rhea, and Sequatchie.


The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has set up a Drought Update webpage at: https://tn.gov/environment/topic/wr-drought-planning, with information on Tennessee water systems currently impacted.


The University of Tennessee’s Extension Office is providing farmers and families information at https://extension.tennessee.edu/Pages/ANR-CED-Drought.aspx on drought resources.


HELPFUL WEBSITES
Burn Bans and Wildfire Information: www.BurnSafeTN.org
Drought Impacts: https://tn.gov/environment/topic/wr-drought-planning
Agriculture Drought Information: https://extension.tennessee.edu/Pages/ANR-CED-Drought.aspx
Air Quality Information: https://tn.gov/environment/article/apc-tennessee-air-quality-forecasting-program


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES


TEMA assisted with water deliveries last week to residents in Bledsoe and Carter counties who are experience shortages. Another delivery to Bledsoe County will occur this week.


Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) personnel are assisting with the wildfire response in providing TNARG helicopters for wildfire water drops and observation missions.


Tennessee State Parks has officially issued burn bans for the following state parks:

• Pickett State Park/Pogue Creek Canyon
• South Cumberland State Park
• Cumberland Mountain State Park
• Fall Creek Falls State Park
• Norris Dam State Park
• Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park


The Drought & Wildfire Task Force is meeting weekly with members to establish a common operating picture of the drought and wildfire threat to ensure effective coordination and risk communication among state and local partners.


Task Force members include representatives with the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The Tennessee Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (TN WARN), an agency providing mutual aid and assistance to utilities in the state, is also participating on the Task Force.


WEATHER FORECAST
Expecting continued trend of low relative humidity and higher than average daytime temperatures. Low temperatures at night provide some relief, as fires do not spread as fast.


KEY MESSAGES

• Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning in your area.
• Remember, from October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire in Tennessee within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. The free permit can be obtained by phone or on online at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Local jurisdictions may have other ordinances and permitting systems in place for open-air burning.
• Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving.
• Have an adult present at all times when a bonfire, chiminea, fire pit, or outdoor fireplace is burning.
• A grill should be placed well away from buildings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. If using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned.
• If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½” mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
• Avoid throwing lit cigarettes out of vehicles. This type of litter can quickly start grass fires that can lead to dangerous traffic situations, such as low visibility and congestion.
• Never park a vehicle over a pile of leaves. The heat from the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system could ignite the leaves below.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• In the unfortunate event that a fire does get out of control, call 911 immediately and wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 9, 2016

Tennessee Drought and Wildfire Update, 11-9-16, 1 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• Wildfires and air quality issues remain concerns in East Tennessee as TEMA also focuses on drought issues in the State.

• Cooler temps across Tennessee as a frontal boundary also brings increased winds. Significant rainfall >50% not expected until end of next week.

• Wildfire information updated also on www.BurnSafeTN.org.

• More than 15 State agencies are engaging in the drought and wildfire response coordination and issue monitoring.


CURRENT SITUATION

Air quality remains a concern in the Cumberland Plateau and East Tennessee regions. The Air Quality Index indicates these areas are in the Moderate range, meaning unusually sensitive people to air quality issues should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.


The Tennessee Division of Forestry reported 27 new fires in the State broke out on Monday, impacting 200 plus acres. Forestry continues to deploy fire resources to address a number of significant outbreaks, including: the Flippers Bend and Mowbary fires in Hamilton County (smoke plumes visible from Chattanooga), the Smith Mountain fire in Sequatchie County, and the Coppinger Cove fire in Marion County.


Persistent, dry weather has significantly increased the wildfire threat along the Cumberland Plateau and eastward with many counties in the State, some of whom are addressing wildfires, also monitoring water supply issues.


The Tennessee Division of Forestry reports 96 fires active in Tennessee impacting 8,665 acres. Wildfire activity over the weekend included seven wildfires burning across Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie counties. In Campbell, Hancock, and Morgan counties a total of 400 acres have burned due to wildfires. One, 200 plus acre wildfire in Hamilton County was located 15 miles north of Chattanooga. Fire officials also responded to wildfires in Grundy and Sevier counties.


Drought monitoring also indicates a wider geographic footprint in Tennessee of extreme to exceptional drought conditions. All or parts of Bradley, Hamilton, McMinn, Marion, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties currently have drought conditions in the highest range of exceptional. On Friday, the report listed only four Tennessee counties in the exceptional category.


Governors in Georgia and Kentucky have declared States of Emergency due to the large-scale wildfire threats and response operations ongoing in their states.


Dozens of fires continue to burn in eastern Kentucky with 60 counties under a burn ban in the state. North Carolina has imposed burn banks for 25 counties with 18 wildfires doubling in size Tuesday and resulting in evacuations in the North Carolina mountains.


ISSUES BY AREA


Wildfires


Active Fires (fought in the past 24 hours):
FIRES: 55 | ACRES BURNED: >5,821
Calendar year to date
TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRES: 1,121 | TOTAL ACRES BURNED: 30,742


The Tennessee Division of Forestry responded to 18 new fires impacting 870 acres in the past 24 hours. The Division of Forestry continues to respond and monitor progress on concerning wildfires in the vicinity of homes in Hamilton (Flippers Bend & Mobary), Marion County (Coppinger Cover), and Sequatchie County (Smith Mountain).


The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has instituted burn bans for six counties: Claiborne, Jefferson, Loudon, Monroe, Roberson, and Sevier. Agriculture does not expect any No Safe Burning Permits to be issued statewide until the State receives substantial precipitation.


Water Supply

TEMA assisted with water deliveries last week to residents in Bledsoe and Carter counties who are experience shortages. Another delivery to Bledsoe County will occur this week.


Water systems in eight Tennessee counties are reporting drought issues. This includes systems in Bledsoe, Blount, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Polk, Scott and Van Buren counties. Seven systems in these counties have enacted mandatory water conservation measures, with others issuing voluntary conservation notices. The primary threats to these local systems are the availability of water for drinking and hygiene, and for fire-fighting capabilities.


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued Code Red air quality alerts Tuesday for 16 counties in Tennessee to include Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie in the lower Cumberland Valley, and Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane, Sevier, and Union counties in East Tennessee.


Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) personnel are assisting with the wildfire response in providing TNARG helicopters for wildfire water drops.


Tennessee State Parks has officially issued burn bans for the following state parks:

• Pickett State Park/Pogue Creek Canyon
• South Cumberland State Park
• Cumberland Mountain State Park
• Fall Creek Falls State Park
• Norris Dam State Park
• Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park


The Drought & Wildfire Task Force is meeting bi-weekly with members to establish a common operating picture of the drought and wildfire threat to ensure effective coordination and risk communication among state and local partners.


Task Force members include representatives with the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The Tennessee Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (TN WARN), an agency providing mutual aid and assistance to utilities in the state, is also participating on the Task Force.


The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued a press release on Oct. 27, advising residents in a number southeastern Tennessee counties to voluntarily cut back on water use to ease drought conditions. The release recommended customers of the following water systems to temporarily limit water usage for non-essential purposes:

• Bledsoe County – Pikeville Water System
• Franklin County – Sewanee Utility District
• Grundy County – Big Creek Utility District, Tracy City Water System, Monteagle Public Utility Board
• Marion County – TN American Sequatchie Valley Water System, Griffith Creek Utility District
• Sequatchie County – Dunlap Water System, Cagel-Fredonia Utility District
• Van Buren County – Fall Creek Falls Utility District


WEATHER FORECAST


East TN – Cold front moved through the region and brought gusty winds to the region today. Winds are expected to decrease toward the weekend. Dry conditions remain with no significant rainfall chance >50% until late next week.


Middle TN – Gusty winds today with no improvement in the chances of rain until the end of next week.


West TN – Cold front resulted in 0.1” of rain in the region. Cooler temps bring the possibility of frost. Another weak front moves through Friday night.


KEY MESSAGES

• Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning in your area.
• Remember, from October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire in Tennessee within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. The free permit can be obtained by phone or on online at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Local jurisdictions may have other ordinances and permitting systems in place for open-air burning.
• Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving.
• Have an adult present at all times when a bonfire, chiminea, fire pit, or outdoor fireplace is burning.
• A grill should be placed well away from buildings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. If using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned.
• If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½” mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
• Avoid throwing lit cigarettes out of vehicles. This type of litter can quickly start grass fires that can lead to dangerous traffic situations, such as low visibility and congestion.
• Never park a vehicle over a pile of leaves. The heat from the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system could ignite the leaves below.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• In the unfortunate event that a fire does get out of control, call 911 immediately and wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 8, 2016

TEMA Update on Drought and Wildfires in Tennessee, 11-8-16, 2 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• Air quality alerts in place for 16 Tennessee counties, including the cities of Chattanooga and Knoxville.

• Slightly better chances of rain starting tomorrow in the whole East Tennessee region.

• More than 15 State agencies are engaging in the drought and wildfire response coordination and issue monitoring.


CURRENT SITUATION
Air quality is of concern today in cities and communities close to wildfire outbreaks, especially in East Tennessee, as fire crews hope a better chance of rain today will bring minor relief to the fire-fighting efforts.


The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has issued Code Red air quality alerts for Chattanooga, Knoxville, and the Great Smoky Mountains region.


The Tennessee Division of Forestry reported 27 new fires in the State broke out on Monday, impacting 200 plus acres. Forestry continues to deploy fire resources to address a number of significant outbreaks, including: the Flippers Bend and Mowbary fires in Hamilton County (smoke plumes visible from Chattanooga), the Smith Mountain fire in Sequatchie County, and the Coppinger Cove fire in Marion County.


Persistent, dry weather has significantly increased the wildfire threat along the Cumberland Plateau and eastward with many counties in the State, some of whom are addressing wildfires, also monitoring water supply issues.


The Tennessee Division of Forestry reports 96 fires active in Tennessee impacting 8,665 acres. Wildfire activity over the weekend included seven wildfires burning across Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie counties. In Campbell, Hancock, and Morgan counties a total of 400 acres have burned due to wildfires. One, 200 plus acre wildfire in Hamilton County was located 15 miles north of Chattanooga. Fire officials also responded to wildfires in Grundy and Sevier counties.


Drought monitoring also indicates a wider geographic footprint in Tennessee of extreme to exceptional drought conditions. All or parts of Bradley, Hamilton, McMinn, Marion, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties currently have drought conditions in the highest range of exceptional. On Friday, the report listed only four Tennessee counties in the exceptional category.


Governors in Georgia and Kentucky have declared States of Emergency due to the large-scale wildfire threats and response operations ongoing in their states.


ISSUES BY AREA


Wildfires

Active Fires (fought in the past 24 hours):
FIRES: 47 | ACRES BURNED: >4,455

Calendar year to date
TOTAL NUMBER OF FIRES: 1,121 | TOTAL ACRES BURNED: 30,742


The Tennessee Division of Forestry responded to 21 new fires in the Cumberland and East Tennessee Districts yesterday plus 6 in the Highland Rim District and 1 fire in the West Tennessee District for a total of more than 214 acres (some estimated acreages were not yet known.


Causes included arson, escaped debris fire, equipment and dumped ashes from grill.


Flippers Bend fire (Hamilton Co), Coppinger Cove fire (Marion Co.), Smith Mountain fire (Sequatchie Co.), and a fire on Cumberland Trail #17 all have homes in vicinity.


The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has instituted burn bans for five counties: Claiborne, Jefferson, Loudon, Monroe, and Sevier. Agriculture does not expect any No Safe Burning Permits to be issued statewide until the State receives substantial precipitation.


Water Supply

Water systems in eight Tennessee counties are reporting drought issues. This includes systems in Bledsoe, Blount, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Polk, Scott and Van Buren counties. Seven systems in these counties have enacted mandatory water conservation measures, with others issuing voluntary conservation notices. The primary threats to these local systems are the availability of water for drinking and hygiene, and for fire-fighting capabilities.


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued Code Red air quality alerts today for 16 counties in Tennessee to include Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie in the lower Cumberland Valley, and Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane, Sevier, and Union counties in East Tennessee.

Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) personnel are assisting with the wildfire response in Hamilton County and TNARG helicopters made several water drops Sunday in the County.


Tennessee State Parks has officially issued burn bans for the following state parks:

• Pickett State Park/Pogue Creek Canyon
• South Cumberland State Park
• Cumberland Mountain State Park
• Fall Creek Falls State Park
• Norris Dam State Park
• Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park


The Drought & Wildfire Task Force is meeting bi-weekly with members to establish a common operating picture of the drought and wildfire threat to ensure effective coordination and risk communication among state and local partners.


Task Force members include representatives with the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The Tennessee Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (TN WARN), an agency providing mutual aid and assistance to utilities in the state, is also participating on the Task Force.


The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued a press release on Oct. 27, advising residents in a number southeastern Tennessee counties to voluntarily cut back on water use to ease drought conditions. The release recommended customers of the following water systems to temporarily limit water usage for non-essential purposes:

• Bledsoe County – Pikeville Water System
• Franklin County – Sewanee Utility District
• Grundy County – Big Creek Utility District, Tracy City Water System, Monteagle Public Utility Board
• Marion County – TN American Sequatchie Valley Water System, Griffith Creek Utility District
• Sequatchie County – Dunlap Water System, Cagel-Fredonia Utility District
• Van Buren County – Fall Creek Falls Utility District


WEATHER FORECAST

East TN – Cold front brings rain chances tonight of 50 to 60% for Knoxville and northward, and 20 to 30% south of Knoxville. Rain chances for Thursday to Monday are in the 30 to 40% range but another front on Saturday will bring increased wind speeds.


Middle TN – Warmer today with a slight chance of precipitation Wednesday. Temperatures fall to the middle-to-upper 30s Wednesday night with a chance of frost in counties along the Kentucky border. Cooler than normal temps by the weekend with around normal precipitation chances in the next 8 to 14 days.


West TN – The Memphis area received from one-tenth to one-third-of-an-inch of rain since yesterday. No more rain is expected for the next couple of weeks.


KEY MESSAGES

• Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning in your area.
• Remember, from October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire in Tennessee within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. The free permit can be obtained by phone or on online at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Local jurisdictions may have other ordinances and permitting systems in place for open-air burning.
• Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving.
• Have an adult present at all times when a bonfire, chiminea, fire pit, or outdoor fireplace is burning.
• A grill should be placed well away from buildings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. If using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned.
• If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½” mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
• Avoid throwing lit cigarettes out of vehicles. This type of litter can quickly start grass fires that can lead to dangerous traffic situations, such as low visibility and congestion.
• Never park a vehicle over a pile of leaves. The heat from the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system could ignite the leaves below.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• In the unfortunate event that a fire does get out of control, call 911 immediately and wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 7, 2016

Tennessee Drought, Wildfire Threat Assessment & Update November 7, 2016 – 12 p.m., Central


HIGHLIGHTS

• Wildfire and drought threat is spreading geographically in Tennessee.

• More than 15 State agencies are currently engaged in the drought and wildfire response coordination and issue monitoring.

• Dry conditions are expected to continue in Tennessee. Weather forecasts show Nov. 15, as the earliest date in Tennessee for 50 percent or greater chance of rain.


CURRENT SITUATION
Persistent, dry weather has significantly increased the wildfire threat along the Cumberland Plateau and eastward with many counties in the State, some of whom are addressing wildfires, also monitoring water supply issues.


The Tennessee Division of Forestry reports 96 fires active in Tennessee impacting 8,665 acres. Wildfire activity over the weekend included seven wildfires burning across Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie counties. In Campbell, Hancock, and Morgan counties a total of 400 acres have burned due to wildfires. One, 200 plus acre wildfire in Hamilton County was located 15 miles north of Chattanooga. Fire officials also responded to wildfires in Grundy and Sevier counties.


Drought monitoring also indicates a wider geographic footprint in Tennessee of extreme to exceptional drought conditions. All or parts of Bradley, Hamilton, McMinn, Marion, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties currently have drought conditions in the highest range of exceptional. On Friday, the report listed only four Tennessee counties in the exceptional category.


Governors in Georgia and Kentucky have declared States of Emergency due to the large-scale wildfire threats and response operations ongoing in their states.


ISSUES BY AREA


Wildfires
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry data shows 1,109 fires have burned 29,500 acres since the beginning of 2016. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has instituted burn bans for Claiborne, Jefferson, Loudon, and Sevier counties. Agriculture does not expect any No Safe Burning Permits to be issued statewide until the State receives substantial precipitation.


Water Supply
Water systems in eight Tennessee counties are reporting drought issues. This includes systems in Bledsoe, Blount, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Polk, Scott and Van Buren counties. Seven systems in these counties have enacted mandatory water conservation measures, with others issuing voluntary conservation notices. The primary threats to these local systems are the availability of water for drinking and hygiene, and for fire-fighting capabilities.


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES
Tennessee Army National Guard (TNARG) personnel are assisting with the wildfire response in Hamilton County and TNARG helicopters made several water drops Sunday in the County.


TEMA’s East Regional Coordination Center standing up to assist the Tennessee Division of Forestry with wildfire response coordination and situational monitoring.


Tennessee State Parks has officially issued burn bans for the following state parks:

• Pickett State Park/Pogue Creek Canyon
• South Cumberland State Park
• Cumberland Mountain State Park
• Fall Creek Falls State Park
• Norris Dam State Park
• Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park


The Drought & Wildfire Task Force is meeting bi-weekly with members to establish a common operating picture of the drought and wildfire threat to ensure effective coordination and risk communication among state and local partners.


Task Force members include representatives with the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Correction, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The Tennessee Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (TN WARN), an agency providing mutual aid and assistance to utilities in the state, is also participating on the Task Force.


The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued a press release on Oct. 27, advising residents in a number southeastern Tennessee counties to voluntarily cut back on water use to ease drought conditions. The release recommended customers of the following water systems to temporarily limit water usage for non-essential purposes:

• Bledsoe County – Pikeville Water System
• Franklin County – Sewanee Utility District
• Grundy County – Big Creek Utility District, Tracy City Water System, Monteagle Public Utility Board
• Marion County – TN American Sequatchie Valley Water System, Griffith Creek Utility District
• Sequatchie County – Dunlap Water System, Cagel-Fredonia Utility District
• Van Buren County – Fall Creek Falls Utility District


WEATHER FORECAST
Dry conditions will continue into the middle of the week and possibly into next weekend. Temperatures will remain above seasonal normal for the next several days.


KEY MESSAGES
• Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning in your area.
• Remember, from October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire in Tennessee within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must secure a burning permit from the Division of Forestry. The free permit can be obtained by phone or on online at www.BurnSafeTN.org. Local jurisdictions may have other ordinances and permitting systems in place for open-air burning.
• Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving.
• Have an adult present at all times when a bonfire, chiminea, fire pit, or outdoor fireplace is burning.
• A grill should be placed well away from buildings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. If using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned.
• If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½” mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
• Avoid throwing lit cigarettes out of vehicles. This type of litter can quickly start grass fires that can lead to dangerous traffic situations, such as low visibility and congestion.
• Never park a vehicle over a pile of leaves. The heat from the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system could ignite the leaves below.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• In the unfortunate event that a fire does get out of control, call 911 immediately and wait in a safe place for the arrival of the local fire department.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

November 3, 2016

Tennessee Drought, Wildfire Threat Assessment & Update for Nov. 3, 2016


HIGHLIGHTS

• Low water levels and drought conditions persist and little to no rain is in the current forecast.

• Localized wildfires continue to breakout, and are quickly contained with local and State firefighters working in cooperation.

• TDEC advising voluntary water conservation customers in eight southeastern counties to limit drought impact.


CURRENT SITUATION
Dry conditions continue in Tennessee aggravating already low water levels and increasing the threat of wildfires in many of the State’s counties on the Cumberland Plateau and eastward.


Four Tennessee counties – Bradley, Franklin, Hamilton, and Marion – have geographic portions ranked as experiencing Exceptional Drought conditions. Severe to Extreme Drought conditions are present in a majority of East Tennessee counties, with Extreme Drought conditions beginning to impact Giles and Lawrence counties in Middle Tennessee.


ISSUES BY AREA


Water Supply
Water systems in eight Tennessee counties are reporting drought issues. This includes systems in Bledsoe, Blount, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Polk, Scott and Van Buren counties. Seven systems in these counties have enacted mandatory water conservation measures, with others issuing voluntary conservation notices. The primary threats to these local systems are the availability of water for drinking and hygiene, and for fire-fighting capabilities.


Wildfire
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry data shows 787 fires have burned 23,832 acres since the beginning of 2016. Recent wildfire locations over the previous week have included: a 30-to-40 acre fire in Claiborne County; a brush fire in Campbell County; three to four wildfires along I-40 west in Dickson County; and, a fire in a recreation area at the South Cumberland State Park near Monteagle.


RESPONSE ACTIVITIES
The Drought & Wildfire Task Force is meeting bi-weekly with members to establish a common operating picture of the drought and wildfire threat to ensure effective coordination and risk communication among state and local partners.


Task Force members include representatives with the Tennessee departments of Agriculture and its Division of Forestry; Commerce and Insurance and the State Fire Marshal, Environment and Conservation, Health, Human Services, Military, and Transportation, and Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The Tennessee Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (TN WARN), an agency providing mutual aid and assistance to utilities in the state, is also participating on the Task Force.


In Bledsoe County, Save-A-Lot and Piggly Wiggly have donated 20 cases each of water to assist residents of the Luminary community who are running low on water availability.


The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued a press release on Oct. 27, advising residents in a number southeastern Tennessee counties to voluntarily cut back on water use to ease drought conditions. The release recommended customers of the following water systems to temporarily limit water usage for non-essential purposes:

• Bledsoe County – Pikeville Water System
• Franklin County – Sewanee Utility District
• Grundy County – Big Creek Utility District, Tracy City Water System, Monteagle Public Utility Board
• Marion County – TN American Sequatchie Valley Water System, Griffith Creek Utility District
• Sequatchie County – Dunlap Water System, Cagel-Fredonia Utility District
• Van Buren County – Fall Creek Falls Utility District


WEATHER FORECAST
High pressure keeps dry and unseasonably warm weather in Tennessee through Wednesday. An approaching front brings a chance of rain Thursday with more seasonable temperatures forecast for the weekend.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

October 25, 2016

Dry Fall Increases Wildfire Risk in Tennessee as State Agencies Provide Tips on Outdoor Fire Prevention


It’s dry in Tennessee and with little or no rain in the state’s weather forecast for the next 10 days, state officials are asking everyone to take extra precaution to prevent outdoor fires from getting out of control.


“Drought and dry conditions have contributed to 837 wildfires burning 20,000 acres in Tennessee so far this year,” said Director Patrick Sheehan, of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). “We are asking everyone spending any time outdoors this season to be aware of the fire risk and to take extra care with potential sources of fire ignition. This will help us avoid needless and potentially deadly wildfires.”


The State Fire Marshal’s Office, a division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) offers the following basic, outdoor fire safety tips:

• Have an adult present at all times when a bonfire, chiminea, fire pit, or outdoor fireplace is burning.
• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from open flames.
• Dried flowers, cornstalks, crepe paper and other types of fall décor are highly flammable and should be kept a safe distance, at least three feet, from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
• Consider using battery-operated flameless candles and solar-powered patio (tiki) torches outside in place of an open flame. Flameless candles come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and are a safer alternative.
• It is safest to use battery-operated candles or glow sticks in a jack-o’-lantern. If you use a flame candle, use extreme caution and keep them well attended at all times.
• A grill should be placed well away from the home and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
• If using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
• Never leave a grill unattended.
• Never park a vehicle over a pile of leaves. The heat from the vehicle’s catalytic converter or exhaust system could ignite the leaves below.


“While the fall is a great season to spend time outside, we remind Tennesseans always to incorporate basic fire safety measures into their outdoor agenda,” said State Fire Marshal and TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak.


The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry encourages the following precautions to make sure outdoor burning is handled properly:

• Avoid burning on dry, windy days.
• Burn late in the day after the wind has quieted and humidity begins to increase, usually after 5:00 p.m.
• Check to see if weather changes are expected. Outdoor burning should be postponed if shifts in wind direction, higher winds or wind gusts are forecast.
• Before doing any burning, establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned. The larger the debris pile, the wider the control line needed to ensure that burning materials won’t be blown or roll off the pile into vegetation outside the line.
• Stay with all outdoor fires until they are completely out.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• If you burn in a burn barrel or other trash container, be sure it is equipped with a ½” mesh screen or metal grid to keep burning material contained.
• Stay abreast of wildfire danger levels and heed warnings and bans on outdoor burning.
• Be aware of where your smoke is going. Avoid burning when your smoke will be bothersome to neighbors or sensitive locations such as highways.


“Careless debris burning is a major cause of wildland fires,” said John Kirksey with the Tennessee Division of Forestry. “We want everyone to exercise extreme caution when outdoors with all potential sources of wildfire ignition, to avoid senseless and potentially deadly wildfires.”


From October 15 through May 15, anyone starting an open-air fire in Tennessee within 500 feet of a forest, grassland, or woodland must by law secure a burning permit from the Tennessee Division of Forestry. Local jurisdictions may have other ordinances and permitting systems in place for open-air burning.


The free permit can be obtained online at www.BurnSafeTN.org or by calling a local Division of Forestry burn permit phone number, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. These phone numbers, as well fire prevention tips and other wildfire resource information, can be found at www.BurnSafeTN.org.


The Tennessee Department of Transportation strongly urges motorists to avoid throwing lit cigarettes out of their vehicles. This type of litter can quickly start grass fires that can lead to dangerous traffic situations, such as low visibility and congestion.


Tennessee State Parks is asking state park visitors to be observant with campfires in the campgrounds. Park visitors should immediately report a fire or what could be a potential fire danger to 911, and observe the following basic fire safety tips:

• Use designated areas – Campfires in Tennessee State Parks must be contained within designated grills or fire grates.

• Be responsible – Never leave a fire unattended, even for a minute. Smoke in a car or designated area if possible. Dispose of cigarettes in a non-flammable container. Don’t allow children and pets near the campfire and never leave them unsupervised.

• Ensure your campfire is completely extinguished with water before leaving.

• Play it safe – Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby. Stack extra wood upwind and away from the fire. After lighting, do not discard the match until it is cold.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

October 7, 2016

Tennessee Agencies Coordinating to Assist Neighbor States in Hurricane Matthew Response


Hurricane Matthew isn’t posing a direct threat to Tennessee, but that doesn’t mean State of Tennessee agencies aren’t engaged in storm response activities.


The Tennessee departments of Health (TDH) and Transportation (TDOT), Tennessee Army National Guard (TANG), Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (TNVOAD) are all analyzing the availability of assets and personnel to send to neighbor states where Hurricane Matthew poses a threat to lives and property.


TEMA has monitored the track of Hurricane Matthew all week, and as it has made landfall we increased our vigilance and communications both with our neighboring states and with our Tennessee and local government partners,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “Though the hurricane is not a direct threat to Tennessee, our state’s emergency resources and personnel have been and could continue to be requested to aid impacted states. With our partner state agencies, local emergency managers, and first responders we are working to make sure we are ready, and in a position to rapidly provide help anywhere there is a need.”


TDH is evaluating the availability of state health personnel to assist Atlantic coastal states in the areas of incident management, epidemiology, nurse support, emergency medical services, and environmental conditions.


“When our neighbors are in trouble, Tennessee volunteers are ready and willing to respond,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “I am proud of all the teams in Tennessee who quickly recognized the seriousness of this situation and rapidly began to assemble both material and human resources to provide assistance. I’m also grateful for our strong regional communication and emergency management programs and services that are in place to allow a seamless and effective response to a wide array of emergencies. We hope for the best for our friends and neighbors and stand ready to provide additional assistance if needed.”


TANG sent helicopters and crews to South Carolina ahead of Hurricane Matthew’s arrival. One light utility helicopter (LUH-72 Lakota) from Nashville is assisting South Carolina Highway Patrol in evacuation route reconnaissance along major interstates. Two additional crews flying HH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from Knoxville are designated for search and rescue operations.


TDOT is in contact with Georgia and South Carolina, and is on standby to provide assistance with bridge inspection crews and equipment to support the state’s needs.


“In the wake of any kind of emergency, restoring transportation is critical in almost every facet of disaster recovery. Our TDOT bridge inspection crews are ready to mobilize and will assist our partners in Georgia in every way possible,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said.


TNVOAD is working with TEMA and Volunteer Tennessee to have volunteers and equipment staged and ready to mobilize if requested.


“We are in contact with our VOAD counterparts and FEMA in the impact states and expect TN to once more demonstrate why Tennessee is known as The Volunteer State when called upon,” TNVOAD State Secretary David Sledge.


The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is coordinating with Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association on room availability for those in the impacted states who are self-evacuating from Hurricane Matthew threatened areas. Tourism is providing this availability information at its Tennessee Welcome Centers.


The Tennessee Highway Patrol and Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) are evaluating resources and personnel who could be deployed for public safety needs, or for any needs in Tennessee in the areas of human care and sheltering. DHS worked with the American Red Cross to place one shelter in Tennessee on standby if it is needed. The shelter is located at Tri-Cities Baptist Church in Gray, Tenn., and does not have any occupants currently.


The Tennessee Fire Marshal’s Office, a division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, has been assessing and evaluating local resources through the state’s Fire Mutual Aid System should any of the hurricane-impacted states need search and rescue teams or other aid assistance.


TEMA will coordinate any deployments of state resources or personnel to impacted states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which is a national, interstate mutual aid agreement enabling states to share resources during times of disaster.


The last EMAC deployment from Tennessee occurred in September 2016 when an 11-member team of deputy state fire marshals deployed to Louisiana to help with building inspections and permitting after record rainfall caused massive flooding.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

October 6, 2016

Tennesseans Make Earthquake Preparedness a Priority with Great Central U.S. ShakeOut


TEMA to Broadcast October 20, 2016, Earthquake Drill on Facebook Live at TNDisasterInfo


Citizens, Businesses, and Communities Encouraged to Register and Participate at www.shakeout.org/centralus

Tennessee will be among 14 central and southern U.S. states on Thursday, Oct., 20, 2016, coordinating the sixth annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut drill to raise awareness about the importance of catastrophic earthquake preparedness.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is working currently to register businesses, communities, individuals, organizations, and schools for the ShakeOut drill so they can learn how to prevent damage and injuries in the event of a catastrophic earthquake.


“A major earthquake is Tennessee’s top catastrophic threat,” TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said. “Earthquakes can occur at any time in our state, and Tennesseans everywhere should know the risks earthquakes pose and how to protect themselves before the ground starts to shake.”


During the ShakeOut drill, participants will practice the Drop, Cover, and Hold On technique, which is the proper self-protection measure in an earthquake. The technique’s actions are:

DROP to the ground;
• Take COVER under a sturdy desk or table, or cover your head and neck with your arms; and,
HOLD ON until the shaking stops.

TEMA will broadcast its ShakeOut event live beginning at 10:15, a.m., Central, on Thursday, Oct. 20, on the agency’s TNDisasterInfo Facebook page, ww.facebook.com/TNDisasterInfo.


TEMA will begin its Facebook Live broadcast with a brief background presentation on Tennessee’s earthquake threat, before demonstrating the Drop, Cover and Hold On technique at 10:20 a.m., Central.


To date, more than 245,000 Tennessee participants are registered for the ShakeOut.


The ShakeOut is free and open-to-the-public. To participate in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations can register at www.shakeout.org/centralus. Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.


TEMA is coordinating the ShakeOut in Tennessee with the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium and its Member and Associate States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of other partners.


Other states participating in the ShakeOut include Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

October 5, 2016

TEMA, Department of Education Working to Prepare Public Schools for Disasters and Emergencies


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is partnering with the Tennessee Department Education to make an emergency preparedness resource available to more than 1,700 public schools in the state.


“Public school administrators and educators are too often on the front lines of protecting students and dealing with unexpected emergencies,” TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said. “We want to help Tennessee’s school systems to be prepared for possible man-made or natural threats.”


Beginning this month, TEMA’s regional staff in west, middle, and east Tennessee will work with local emergency management agencies and local school districts to distribute an Emergency Action Guide for State of Tennessee Employees.


Basic information is included in the guide on actions individuals can take to protect themselves and others for a number of hazards and threats, including severe weather, bomb threats, fires, suspicious substances, earthquakes, and active shooters.


The guide includes practical information on how to be prepared for certain emergencies and is presented in a tabbed format with pages for listing emergency contact information and a disaster supply checklist.


“Ensuring school safety and preparedness is foundational in order for learning to flourish in our classrooms” says Tennessee Department of Education’s Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operations Officer Kathleen Airhart. “We are grateful for our partnership with TEMA to equip public schools across Tennessee with this valuable resource for emergency preparation.”


TEMA originally produced the guide in 2015 in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Tennessee, and the Tennessee Department of Human Resources.


TEMA originally made the guide available to state employees across Tennessee as a desk reference to help them be ready for potential workplace emergencies. A recent reprint of the guide will provide enough copies so that the front office of each Tennessee public school can have 10 copies of the guide available to administrators and educators.


About the Tennessee Department of Education: The Tennessee Department of Education’s vision is that districts and schools in Tennessee will exemplify excellence and equity such that all students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully embark on their chosen path in life.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

September 17, 2016

Improper Portable Fuel Containers Pose Explosion and Fire Risks at Gas Pumps


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and State Fire Marshal’s Office are reminding Tennesseans today of the hazards associated with filling portable fuel containers at petroleum stations.


“We are asking Tennesseans to use only approved, portable fuel containers and only fill them up if it is absolutely necessary,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “There is petroleum available to meet the needs of Tennessee, even with the supply disruption caused by the Alabama pipeline leak, if consumers will keep their normal driving and fuel buying habits.”


The State Fire Marshal’s Office, a division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI), offers consumers the following safety tips for filling portable gas containers:

• Use only approved portable containers for transporting or storing gasoline.
• Never fill a portable container when it is in or on the vehicle. Always place the container on the ground before filling. Fires caused by static charges have occurred when people filled portable containers in the back of pick-up trucks, particularly those with plastic bed liners. Removing the container will also prevent a dangerous spill of gasoline.
• When filling a portable container, keep the nozzle in direct contact with the container. Fill it only about 95 percent full to leave room for expansion.
• Gas cans/containers should never be transported in the passenger compartment.
• Don’t smoke or use lighters while refueling.


“Filling an ungrounded, unapproved portable fuel container can cause sparks from static charges, and lead to explosions and fires at gas stations,” said State Fire Marshal Gary West. “Additionally, there are explosion and fire dangers associated with storing and transporting large quantities of fuel.”


According to the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration, approved portable gas containers have less than 5 gallons of capacity, have flame-arresting screens, spring closing lid, and spout cover, are designed to relieve internal pressure, and are marked by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc.


Additionally, TDCI is informing consumers that Tennessee’s price gouging laws make it unlawful for individuals and businesses to charge unreasonable prices for essential goods and services, including gasoline, in direct response to a disaster regardless of whether that emergency occurred in Tennessee or elsewhere. The price gouging law makes it unlawful to charge a price that is grossly in excess of the price charged prior to the emergency.


The TDCI Division of Consumer Affairs serves as the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints and offers a price gouging complaint form on their website: http://tn.gov/commerce/article/consumer-price-gouging-complaint.


“Our priority is to protect consumers,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “Should there be businesses or individuals who use this situation to take advantage of others through gasoline price gouging, we encourage consumers to report it to our Consumer Affairs Division so that we can follow-up accordingly.”


The price gouging complaints received by Consumer Affairs are all individually evaluated. Costs will be considered by an evaluation of the increases of costs associated with fuel along with the increases in costs to the retailer and the increase in price to the consumer. Consumer Affairs consults with legal counsel and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office in all evaluations for price gouging violations.


If it appears that price gouging may have occurred, the complaint could be referred to the Attorney General for review and investigation regarding the potential violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. The Attorney General could seek a temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, or permanent injunction, seek civil penalties up to $1,000 per violation, and/or negotiate and accept an assurance of voluntary compliance.


About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: TDCI is charged with protecting the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the Athletic Commission, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Corrections Institute, Emergency Communications Board, Fire Prevention, Insurance, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Peace Officers Standards and Training, Regulatory Boards, Securities, and TennCare Oversight.

About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

Statement from TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan on Tennessee’s Petroleum Availability


“We want to reassure Tennesseans there is petroleum available to meet the needs of consumers. Gov. Haslam’s emergency declaration issued on Friday ensures the transportation and delivery of petroleum to convenience stores and retailers in Tennessee.


Tennessee’s consumers need to maintain their normal driving and fuel buying habits. If consumers fill up unnecessarily, top off their tanks when they aren’t close to empty, and fill multiple containers at the pumps, then our petroleum retailers will not be able to keep up with the demand of the fuel supply. Even on a normal day, Tennessee’s petroleum industry as a whole would have a difficult time keeping up with the current demands being placed on Tennessee’s fuel supply.


The Colonial Pipeline is not the only supplier of petroleum to Tennessee. There are other pipelines contributing to the state’s fuel supply. Gov. Haslam’s executive order further aids in keeping fuel supplied to Tennessee as transporters have extra time to deliver to pumps. If consumers maintain their normal driving and fuel buying habits, there will be enough capacity in Tennessee’s petroleum supply system to meet our needs.”


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

September 9, 2016

Reflect on September 11 and Make Sure You are Prepared for Emergencies


This Sunday marks 15 years since the attacks in Shanksville, Penn., Washington D.C., and New York City. As we remember this mournful day, we also need to remember how our neighbors across the National continue to experience the many hardships of disasters, hardships which are the result of historic floods, historic drought, earthquakes, severe weather, and even the daily emergencies which threaten lives, neighborhoods, and communities.


National Preparedness Month is observed each September to encourage individuals and families to take the necessary steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses, and places of worship. If more citizens take action to be ready for emergencies, the more likely our Nation as a whole will be prepared for all hazards, whether natural or man-made. National Preparedness Month is in its 13th year as an opportunity to share emergency preparedness information to help Americans understand what it truly means to be ready.


The following provides information and links to resources on getting emergency plans and resources in place so you and your family be ready for emergencies.


The first step in emergency preparedness is to create a written emergency plan for you and your family. Basic emergency plans include information such as:

• The evacuation procedure for your home, in case of fire or flood, so everyone will know which exits to take during a home emergency;
• How family members should contact each other if they are separated in a disaster;
• Where family members should meet after evacuating their home, or if your neighborhood is being evacuated; and,
• The important contact phone numbers for work locations, medical providers, and insurance carriers.


Also, check the emergency plans and preparations for places where you and your family spend time such as schools, day cares, sports facilities, and faith organizations. It is also important to have an emergency kit in every automobile your family uses.


Finally, make sure you exercise your plans with your family. Practice a family fire drill or try out your communication plan on a day when you know family members will be separated.


Emergency Kit Basics

The contents of a well-stocked disaster kit vary depending on household needs. There are certain essentials for any kit:

• Water – at least a gallon per person per day, for three to five days
• Nonperishable food (such as dried fruit or peanut butter) – enough per person for three to five days
• Pet supplies
• Pet food and water
• Baby supplies (formula, diapers)
• Weather radio (battery-powered or hand-crank) and extra batteries
• First-aid kit
• Prescription medications and glasses
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Dust mask (to filter contaminated air)
• Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
• Cellphone (with charger, inverter or solar charger)
• Matches in a waterproof container
• Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap
• Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, paper towels
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
• Whistle (to call for help)
• Can opener (manual)
• Local maps
• Extra batteries


More information on emergency plans and preparedness can be found at www.ready.gov, with sections that include family emergency communication plans and emergency plans for kids.


For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit www.ready.gov/september.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

September 1, 2016

TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan Statement on Statewide EAS Test


STATEMENT FROM TEMA DIRECTOR PATRICK SHEEHAN ON TODAY’S STATEWIDE TEST OF THE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM


Today the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency conducted a statewide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts to mobile devices. The purpose of the test was to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the system to address the public during times of emergency. The purpose of this system is essential to ensure we can communicate to save lives and protect property. We timed today’s test to coincide with the beginning of National Preparedness Month and it was designed to have limited impact on the public.


TEMA spent the last several weeks working with our partners, EAS participants across the state , and the public to prepare for today’s test. Unfortunately, during today’s test we learned valuable lessons about the Emergency Alert System, our protocols, and areas to improve on the delivery of these types of alerts in the future.


We have received calls and messages from hundreds of Tennesseans letting us know about problems with receiving messages and the concerns caused by the messages received. In many instances the caveats that the message was part of a test were not received, making it seem like an emergency was imminent. While many are understanding, knowing that we need to test our systems, many have voiced their concerns about the angst this test cause. Please accept my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience today’s test caused.


In the coming days and weeks TEMA will be reevaluating our protocols and systems. We will not be conducting any public tests of the system in the foreseeable future.


We do these tests to make certain we know about problems before we need the systems. In this regard alone, this test has been very valuable.


Again, please accept my apologies on behalf of TEMA and my gratitude for your patience and understanding.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

August 23, 2016

TEMA Encourages Thoughtful Donations to Louisiana Flood Survivors


From the Great Tennessee Flood of 2010 to the many localized disasters since, Tennesseans are very familiar with the great amount of effort needed to help communities and citizens recover from disasters.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is providing the following guidance and resources on how Tennesseans can provide the most meaningful assistance to those recovering from the severe flooding in Louisiana.


“We are fortunate so many Tennesseans care for Louisiana’s flood survivors as if they are their next door neighbors, and want to help,” TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said. “Let’s make sure the help from Tennessee is channeled in ways to have the most positive impact in Louisiana without creating a burden on emergency managers and organizations coordinating the assistance.”


Cash donations are the most needed and effective way of helping in disaster recovery. Cash donations help organizations avoid the labor and expense of sorting and transporting donated goods, and voluntary relief organizations use cash to meet individual needs more quickly.


Relief Organizations Helping in Louisiana

• Louisiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster: lavoad.org/how-to-help/
• Volunteer Louisiana: www.volunteerlouisiana.gov/
• Red Cross Louisiana Flood Information: www.redcross.org/local/louisiana/flood-information
• Louisiana Flood Relief Fund: www.braf.org/louisiana-flood-relief
• United Way of Southeast Louisiana: www.unitedwaysela.org/flood


Before donating goods, confirm what exactly is needed by contacting a voluntary relief organization working to help survivors. A community hit by a disaster does not have the staff or money to store or dispose of unneeded goods.


Do not self-deploy as a volunteer to a disaster. Instead, volunteer with an organization coordinating volunteer resources with local, state, or federal entities at the disaster scene.


On Sunday, a team of Tennessee fire marshals deployed to Louisiana to assist local officials with incident management, building and fire code enforcement, and the inspection of commercial and residential structures.


Federal officials call the historic Louisiana flooding the worst in the nation since Hurricane Sandy. The flooding caused 13 fatalities and damaged 60,000 homes. According to FEMA, 106,000 Louisiana residents so far have registered for federal recovery assistance.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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. Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter, @T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

August 19, 2016

Tennessee Teams Heading to Louisiana to Help in Devastating Flood Disaster


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance today announced that an 11-member team from Tennessee is being deployed to Baton Rouge, La. to assist survivors of an historic flood event that has caused 13 fatalities and damaged an estimated 40,000 homes.


The Department of Commerce and Insurance is assembling the team consisting of deputy state fire marshals from middle and west Tennessee, who will assist Louisiana emergency officials with incident management, building and fire code enforcement, and the inspection of commercial and residential structures for permitting.


“The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office is always ready to help our neighbors in times of need and tragedy,” Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak said. “We express our heartfelt condolences to Louisiana residents who have suffered losses during this historic flooding. The State Fire Marshal’s Office will do our best to help them recover during the weeks ahead.”


A six-member fire marshals team will deploy on August 21 to Baton Rouge and stay until August 30. A member of the first team will remain in Baton Rouge preparing for the deployment of a second, five-member fire marshals team from Tennessee. The second team will be in Baton Rouge from August 28through September 6.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is working with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) in Louisiana to coordinate the deployment of Tennessee personnel to help with the flooding response and recovery.


The deployment is occurring through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which is a national, interstate mutual aid agreement enabling states to share resources during times of disaster. Tennessee law authorizes the deployment of personnel and resources through EMAC to other states during disasters.


“Cooperation among states and agencies is fundamental to effective emergency management,” TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said. “Tennessee has been there for Louisiana through hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav. I am proud we are able to support the state again during these terrible floods, and further our mission as emergency managers to save and protect lives.”


The last EMAC deployment from Tennessee occurred in October 2015 for the historic flooding in South Carolina from Hurricane Joaquin.


Federal officials are calling the historic Louisiana flooding the worst in the nation since Hurricane Sandy. On Friday, Aug. 12, heavy rain from a slow-moving low pressure system caused local rivers and streams in parishes in and near Baton Rouge to top their banks. More than two feet of rain fell over five days in Louisiana, and at one point, more than 31 inches of rain fell in 15 hours.


About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: TDCI is charged with protecting the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the Athletic Commission, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Corrections Institute, Emergency Communications Board, Fire Prevention, Insurance, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Peace Officers Standards and Training, Regulatory Boards, Securities, and TennCare Oversight.


About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: 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.

August 18, 2016

Statewide Emergency Alert Test to Advance Public Preparedness, State Readiness in Tenn


September 2016 is National Preparedness Month


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, and its members, will conduct a statewide test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to deliver a voluntary Emergency Alert System (EAS) message and a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) at 2:30 p.m., CDT, on Thur., Sept. 1, 2016.


TEMA and TAB’s partnership and IPAWS test is a collaborative effort to raise awareness about the importance of emergency preparedness and in recognition of September 2016 as National Preparedness Month.


“This year, in Tennessee and across the nation, natural and human-caused disasters have taken lives, destroyed homes and damaged roads and infrastructure,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “While we live in some of the safest times in history, these fires, storms, flash-floods, heatwaves, tornadoes, accidents, and active shooter tragedies serve as reminders of the importance of being aware of the potential threats around us and to prepare ourselves and our loved ones. This statewide EAS test message will recognize National Preparedness Month and emphasize the importance of emergency preparedness.”


TEMA will send the voluntary EAS and WEA test messages through IPAWS, allowing TEMA to assess its operational readiness to alert and warn the public during statewide disasters and emergencies. The message will be as follows:


“This is a statewide test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test. September is National Preparedness Month. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and this station are reminding you how important it is to be ready for disasters and emergencies. Take some time to prepare an emergency kit for your home, office, and vehicle, and have an emergency plan so you and your family are ready. Visit www.tnema.org for information.”


The EAS test is designed to have limited impact on the public and there is no Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulatory liability for stations that choose not to participate.


“TAB’s radio and television membership is looking forward to partnering with TEMA to help bring awareness to families and businesses getting ready for the when, not if of an emergency or disaster,” said TAB President Whit Adamson. “We know this statewide test is the perfect warmup for the national test scheduled on September 28, 2016, which will be coordinated with the FCC and Federal Emergency Management Agency.”


Also on Sept. 1, just after 2:30 p.m., CDT, Tennesseans, and those travelling through the state, will receive the following WEA, or text message, on their mobile devices:


September is National Preparedness Month, make sure you are ready for the next disaster.


Authorized alerting authorities can use WEA to send emergency text messages through mobile carriers. WEA messages include a special tone and vibration, repeated twice, to alert callers. The message also will display the type and time of the alert. More information on WEA is available at www.fema.gov/frequently-asked-questions-wireless-emergency-alerts


Prepare for Emergencies
National Preparedness Month is designed to raise awareness and encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses, and places of worship.


The first step in emergency preparedness is to create a written emergency plan for you and your family. Basic emergency plans include information such as:

• The evacuation procedure for your home, in case of fire or flood, so everyone will know which exits to take during a home emergency;
• How family members should contact each other if they are separated in a disaster;
• Where family members should meet after evacuating their home, or if your neighborhood is being evacuated; and,
• The important contact phone numbers for work locations, medical providers, and insurance carriers.


Also, check the emergency plans and preparations for places where you and your family spend time such as schools, day cares, sports facilities, and faith organizations. It is also important to have an emergency kit in every automobile your family uses.


Finally, make sure you exercise your plans with your family. Practice a family fire drill or try out your communication plan on a day when you know family members will be separated.


Emergency Kit Basics

The contents of a well-stocked disaster kit vary depending on household needs. There are certain essentials for any kit:

• Water – at least a gallon per person per day, for three to five days
• Nonperishable food (such as dried fruit or peanut butter) – enough per person for three to five days
• Pet supplies
• Pet food and water
• Baby supplies (formula, diapers)
• Weather radio (battery-powered or hand-crank) and extra batteries
• First-aid kit
• Prescription medications and glasses
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Dust mask (to filter contaminated air)
• Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
• Cellphone (with charger, inverter or solar charger)
• Matches in a waterproof container
• Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap
• Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, paper towels
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
• Whistle (to call for help)
• Can opener (manual)
• Local maps
• Extra batteries


More information on emergency plans and preparedness can be found at www.ready.gov, with sections that include family emergency communication plans and emergency plans for kids.


About National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month is in its 13th year as an opportunity to share emergency preparedness information to help Americans understand what it truly means to be ready. For more information, visit www.ready.gov/september.


About IPAWS
IPAWS connects emergency management agencies to multiple communications channels to send alerts to the public when a disaster or other imminent danger occurs. More information on IPAWS and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is available at www.fema.gov/ipaws or www.ready.gov/alerts.


About TAB
Through a spirit of cooperation in matters of common interest, the TAB is committed to the purpose of promoting our industry in the best interest of the public and broadcasting, both in our local communities and the country. Working together, we can keep radio and television local and free. More at www.tabtn.org


About TEMA
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. More information is available at www.tnema.org

August 4, 2016

U.S. Small Business Administration Grants Disaster Declaration for Stewart and Sumner Counties


Low-Interest Loans Also Available to Residents in Surrounding Counties

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide low-interest loans to businesses and residents who suffered economic losses in Stewart and Sumner counties due to severe weather in the counties between July 6, and July 8, 2016.


The SBA disaster declaration also includes the surrounding Tennessee counties of Robertson, Benton, Henry, Houston, Davidson, Macon, Montgomery, Trousdale, and Wilson.


Kentucky counties, adjacent to Stewart and Sumner counties, are also in the SBA declaration and include: Allen, Calloway, Christian, Simpson, and Trigg.


“These storms and the flooding they created were destructive across many counties in Tennessee,” Haslam said. “This declaration will allow business owners, individual homeowners, and renters in the declared counties to access the SBA’s disaster loan program to begin putting their lives back together.”


Those affected have until October 3, 2016, to apply for assistance for physical damage and until May 2, 2017, to apply for relief from economic injury.


The interest rates for homeowners without credit elsewhere will be 1.625 percent and 3.250 percent for homeowners with credit elsewhere. Interest rates for businesses without credit elsewhere will be 4 percent and 6.250 percent for businesses with credit elsewhere.


More information on the SBA declaration for Tennessee is available at www.sba.gov/offices/disaster/dfoce/resources/1536914.


The SBA also will open temporary offices to help homeowners and businesses with the disaster loan process.


The SBA office for Stewart County will open at 9 a.m., CDT, on Fri., Aug. 5, 2016, and will remain open until 4 p.m., CDT, on Thur., Aug. 11, 2016. The SBA office in Stewart County is located at Stewart County Fire Rescue Station 1, 2343 Hwy. 79, in Dover, Tenn. The office will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., CDT, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., CDT, on Sat., Aug. 6.


The SBA office for Sumner County also will open at 9 a.m., CDT, on Fri., Aug. 5, 2016, and will remain open until 4 p.m., CDT, on Thur., Aug. 11, 2016. The SBA office in Sumner County is located at the Gallatin Civic Center, 210 Albert Gallatin Ave. The office will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., CDT, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., CDT, on Sat., Aug. 6.


More information about applying is available through the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955, by email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or by visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/disaster.


A joint Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and SBA damage survey identified 53 homes across both counties as having major damage and with uninsured losses of 40 percent or more of their replacement costs.


A series of severe thunderstorms moved through Tennessee and produce flash flooding, damaging winds across portions of Middle Tennessee from July 6, to July 7, 2016, and through the Upper Cumberland Region of the state on July 8, 2016. The severe weather impacted almost all of Middle Tennessee with concentrated damage in the region’s northern-tier counties along the Kentucky border.

TEMA MISSION
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.

July 25, 2016

Use Tennessee’s Sales Tax Holiday to Stock Essential Items for Your Emergency Kit


Tennessee’s sales tax holiday runs from Friday, July 29, to Sunday, July 31, 2016. So, while you’re stocking up on school supplies, you also can add some key, sales-tax-free items to your family’s emergency kit.

Emergency kit items such as extra clothing and heavy boots are important for all family members to have on-hand in a disaster or emergency. Clothing less than $100, to include coveralls, hiking boots, gloves, rainwear, and winter clothing will be tax-free this weekend..

Baby supplies like clothing, diapers, and blankets are also on the tax-free list and should be in any family’s emergency kit if they have newborns.

Simple items such as markers, pens, notepads, and poster board can help keep children busy when the power is out and they can’t go outside. These items are also important if families need to take notes during emergencies, have a paper version of key contacts and emergency plans, or if they need to make signs to communicate with first responders.

Take some time to review your emergency supply kit to see what items you need, or use Tennessee’s tax-free weekend to begin putting your emergency kit together for yourself and your family.

For more information, visit www.tntaxholidy.com and see the complete list of tax-exempt items.

TEMA MISSION
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.

July 22, 2016

Tennessee temps pushing to 100 degrees as dangerous heat dome expands in Central U.S.

Stay In! Stay Cool! Stay Hydrated!


Excessive Heat Warning in West Tennessee: www.srh.noaa.gov/meg/


Middle Tennessee under a Heat Advisory: www.srh.noaa.gov/bna/


Air Quality Alert in East Tennessee: www.srh.noaa.gov/mrx/


Excessive heat spreads to Eastern U.S.: www.weather.gov/


EXTREME HEAT PREPAREDNESS

- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
- Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
- Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities.
- Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
- Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
- Drink plenty of water; even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
- Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
- Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
- Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
- Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

July 20, 2016

Tennessee Activation Returns to Normal


The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville returned to Level 5 – Elevated at 12 a.m., CDT, on Wed., July 20, 2016.

This ends the State of Emergency declared at 7:15 a.m., CDT, on Thurs., July 7, 2016 when TEMA activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan (TEMP) in response to severe storms and flash flooding.

TEMA continues to work with counties impacted on July 7, and following, to conduct damage assessments, and is monitoring currently a rolling blackout threat in Shelby County due to a damaged substation in the Arlington community.

Should the potential for widespread impacts from severe weather increase, the SEOC will return to a State of Emergency.

TEMA MISSION
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.

July 18, 2016

Be Ready for High Temps in Tennessee This Week


Dangerous heat is expected in Tennessee this week as daytime highs reach into the mid-to-upper 90s, and closing in on the 100-degree-mark in many parts of the State. A heat advisory is in effect today across the Mid-South as the National Weather Service in Memphis expects dangerous heat indexes in excess of 105 degrees.


High temps in Shelby County will intensify the impacts to residents in the Arlington and Lakeland communities, who may see rolling blackouts due to ongoing repairs to a Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) substation damaged in a fire on July 11, 2016. MLGW is asking customers to cutback on power usage to minimize the impact of the rolling blackouts, expected during the peak hours of 3 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., CDT, this week.


More information is available on the MLGW website, www.mlgw.com.


THE HAZARD OF EXTREME HEAT
Most heat disorders occur due to overexposure to heat, or over-exercising for his or her age and physical condition.

Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to succumb to extreme heat.Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.

Conditions that can induce heat-related illnesses include stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality. Consequently, people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than those living in rural areas. Also, asphalt and concrete store heat longer and gradually release heat at night, which can produce higher nighttime temperatures known as the “urban heat island effect.”


KNOW THE TERMS

Heat Wave – Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.

Heat Index – A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.

Heat Cramps – Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.

Heat Exhaustion – Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.

Heat Stroke – A life-threatening condition. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.

Sun Stroke – Another term for heat stroke.

Excessive Heat Watch – Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.

Excessive Heat Warning – Heat Index values are forecast to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs=105-110° Fahrenheit).

Heat Advisory – Heat Index values are forecast to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs=100-105° Fahrenheit).


EXTREME HEAT PREPAREDNESS

- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
- Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
- Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities.
- Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
- Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
- Drink plenty of water; even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
- Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
- Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
- Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
- Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

July 9, 2016

TEMA Update on Severe Weather Impacts, July 9, 2016, 11 a.m., CDT


Flash Report: Middle TN Severe Storms & Flooding
July 9, 2016, 11 a.m., CDT
SEOC Activation: Level III State of Emergency


CURRENT SITUATION
Severe storms overnight in Tennessee resulted in three (3) fatalities. In Carter County, a 60-year-old male and 40-year old female were killed when a tree fell on them while camping. In Knox County, a tree fell on a female of undetermined age during a severe storm. There are no other reports of fatalities in the State.


Tennessee remains in a State of Emergency, declared at 7:15 a.m., CDT, on July 7, 2016, due to continuing severe weather threats from wave-after-wave of heavy rain and high winds impacting the Middle and East Regions of the State.


FROM THE EAST
East Tennessee was the hardest hit area of the State from the severe storms last night. One storm caused damage through the northern section of the East Region, moving from Claiborne County to the tip of the State into Carter, Sullivan, and Washington counties. A second storm wave moved through the middle portion of the East Region hitting the Middle Plateau and Knox County, and moving through Blount, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Monroe, Roane, and Sevier counties. A number of East Region counties reported significant power outages, many downed trees, and closed roadways due to debris from the storms. TEMA deployed District Coordinators, last night and today, to help local emergency managers who are working to clear debris, conduct damage assessment, and assist residents.


IN THE MIDDLE
In Middle Tennessee, counties impacted from the first wave of storms on July 7, 2016, were hit again yesterday in two additional severe storm waves. A second round storm yesterday impacted Clay and Overton counties with TEMA deploying a District Coordinator to assist local emergency managers in the event. A third storm last night resulted the National Weather Service issuing multiple warnings, while up to 50,000 people were without power at one point during the overnight storm in Middle Tennessee. TEMA is also still assisting local emergency agencies in Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart, and Sumner counties from the July 7 severe weather.


TO THE WEST
West Tennessee counties report no issues from the severe weather. Many counties are continuing to monitor severe weather forecasts as there is a 60 percent chance of severe weather in the West Region today.


POWER OUTAGES

Davidson: 3,835
Hawkins: 1,324
Knox: 3,421
Sumner: 3,018
TOTAL: 11,598


WEATHER FORECASTS
Memphis: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly between 8am and 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming north northwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%.


Jackson: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly between 7am and 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88. West northwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.


Nashville: A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 7am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88. West northwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.


Knoxville: A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 8am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. Southwest wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.


Chattanooga: A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 8am. Mostly cloudy and hot, with a high near 90. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.


KEY PREPAREDNESS MESSAGES

• Be alert to possibility of flooding if it has been raining hard for several hours.
• Closely monitor local radio and TV stations, and NOAA weather radio for information on flood conditions, weather, and roadways.
• Follow the instructions of local officials in emergency situations. If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
• Do not drive around barricades. They are there for your safety.
• NEVER drive through standing water. More than half of flood victims are in vehicles swept away by moving water.
• Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.
• Stay out of floodwaters as the water could be contaminated or electrically-charged.
• Stay away from downed power lines to avoid the risk of shock or electrocution.
• If you are evacuated, do not return to your home until local authorities say it is safe.


TEMA MISSION
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.

July 7, 2016

TEMA Update on Flash Flooding and Severe Weather: 3 p.m., CDT, 07/07/16


This will be TEMA’s final update of the evening unless there are significant changes in the weather forecast or situation.


Flash Report: Middle TN Severe Storms & Flooding
July 7, 2016, 3 p.m., CDT
SEOC Activation: Level III State of Emergency


CURRENT SITUATION
Tennessee remains in a State of Emergency, since 7:15 a.m., CDT, on July 7, 2016, due flash floods in a number of Middle Tennessee counties from severe storms and heavy rainfall overnight and through this morning.


The severe weather impacted almost all of Middle Tennessee with concentrated damage in the region’s upper-tier counties along the Kentucky border. Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart and Sumner counties reported up to 8” of rain in some locations.


Local responders assisted families and stranded motorists due to flash floods in Stewart, Sumner, and Robertson counties overnight as flood waters inundated homes and roadways. County emergency management agencies in Davidson, Montgomery, and Trousdale, reported downed trees and impassable roads.


Preliminary damage reports from Stewart County indicate it is one of the hardest hit from the flash flooding and severe weather:

• Homes: 10 destroyed and 7 with major damage
• Mobile Homes: 10 destroyed
• Public Buildings: 1 church destroyed, 2 churches with major damage, 1 ballpark with major damage
• Private Businesses: 1 day care destroyed and 1 Subway restaurant with major damage


Preliminary damage reports from Sumner County also show significant impact with 30 homes reported damaged and four bridges with major damage.


Local emergency agencies continue to assist residents impacted by the flash flooding, work to clear debris and clear roadways, and monitor weather forecasts.


Personnel at the State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville are receiving situational updates from impacted counties, and coordinating information and resources with responding State agencies, to include: American Red Cross, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Human Services, Tennessee Department of Military, Tennessee Department of Safety, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.


There are no reports of fatalities or injuries from the severe flooding but emergency management officials are warning local residents to use caution if they encounter high water – Turn Around! Don’t Drown!


COUNTY-BY-COUNTY UPDATES

Cheatham – One home flooded; one flooded road re-opened
Davidson – No major flooding; some flooding on scattered back roads
Dickson – Ponding on many roads; some trees down
Macon – Reports two washed out roads; removing debris from one bridge and roadways
Montgomery – Several homes with flooded basements, one home damaged from lightning strike, estimates of 1,000 without power in the County
Overton – Trees down and some power outages
Putnam – Scattered downed trees and power outages; reporting water receding.
Robertson – County emergency management agency assessing damage to roads and homes
Smith – Scattered downed trees and power outages; reports water receding
Stewart – Two major roads still closed and scattered power outages
Sumner – Flood waters receding on most roads with scattered power outages throughout the county
Trousdale – High water with scattered power outages and road closures
Williamson – Few trees down and minor power outages
Wilson – Several side roads impassable; water receding


SHELTERS
The American Red Cross has shelters open in:

• Stewart County at the Bumpus Mills Church of Christ
• Sumner County at the Hartsville Pike Church of Christ


FORECAST
Flash flooding possible throughout the evening hours tonight and a flash flood watch remains in effect until 10 p.m., CDT. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for Middle Tennessee until 9 p.m., CDT, as a complex of showers and thunderstorms move into Middle Tennessee. Some of the thunderstorms associated with this complex may be severe with damaging winds being the primary concern. A cold front enters Middle Tennessee Friday and may trigger strong to severe storms late in the day and evening with heat indices reaching into the low 100s.


KEY PREPAREDNESS MESSAGES

• Be alert to possibility of flooding if it has been raining hard for several hours.
• Closely monitor local radio and TV stations, and NOAA weather radio for information on flood conditions, weather, and roadways.
• Follow the instructions of local officials in emergency situations. If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
• Do not drive around barricades. They are there for your safety.
• NEVER drive through standing water. More than half of flood victims are in vehicles swept away by moving water.
• Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.
• Stay out of floodwaters as the water could be contaminated or electrically-charged.
• Stay away from downed power lines to avoid the risk of shock or electrocution.
• If you are evacuated, do not return to your home until local authorities say it is safe.


TEMA MISSION
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.

TEMA Declares State of Emergency from Severe Storms & Flooding


Flash Report – Middle TN Severe Storms & Flooding
July 7, 2016 – 9 a.m., CDT
SEOC Activation: Level III – State of Emergency


CURRENT SITUATION
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) declared a State of Emergency at 7:15 a.m., CDT, this morning, July 7, 2016, due to flash flooding in a number of Middle Tennessee counties from heavy rainfall overnight.


Locally heavy rainfall, up to eight inches in some locations, has impacted Cheatham, Davidson, Macon, Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart, Sumner, and Trousdale counties. Flash flood warnings will remain in effect throughout Middle Tennessee as another one inch of rain is expected over the area today.


Local responders conducted swift water rescues in Stewart, Sumner, and Robertson counties as flood waters inundated homes and roadways. County emergency management agencies in Davidson, Montgomery, and Trousdale, reported downed trees and impassable roads.


There are no reports of fatalities, injuries from the severe flooding but emergency management officials are warning local residents to use caution if they encounter high water – Turn Around! Don’t Drown!


RESPONSE ACTIONS
TEMA has deployed District Coordinators to assist county emergency managers with any coordination or requests for resources.


Tennessee Department of Transportation is reporting the following road impacts:
• Highway 79 at mile marker 16 in Stewart County closed due to flooding
• Highway 41A at Eva Drive in Clarksville closed due to flooding.
• High water at I-24 East at Shelby Ave. exit in Nashville
• Roadway flooded on I-40 West at mile-marker 213
• I-40 West at the Church St. ramp closed due to flooding
• I-65 North in Robertson County, mile marker 111, right lane flooded
• 3600 block of Sparta pike in Wilson County, westbound side flooded


The State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville is activated with representatives from the American Red Cross, the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. Agencies will be monitoring the ongoing weather situation and assisting counties and other State partners with requests for assistance.


KEY PREPAREDNESS MESSAGES

• Be alert to possibility of flooding if it has been raining hard for several hours.
• Closely monitor local radio and TV stations, and NOAA weather radio for information on flood conditions, weather, and roadways.
• Follow the instructions of local officials in emergency situation. If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
• Do not drive around barricades. They are there for your safety.
• NEVER drive through standing water. More than half of flood victims are in vehicles swept away by moving water.
• Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.
• Stay out of floodwaters as the water could be contaminated or electrically-charged.
• Stay away from downed power lines to avoid the risk of shock or electrocution.
• If you are evacuated, do not return to your home until local authorities say it is safe.


TEMA MISSION
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.

June 17, 2016

TEMA Seeks Catastrophic Exercise Volunteers to Simulate Real-World Need


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is joining with the Tennessee Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (TNVOAD) for a catastrophic disaster simulation exercise where key resources are activated to assist with community recovery.


In the exercise, TNVOAD will establish a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) and a Point of Distribution (POD), from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., CDT, on Thursday, June 23, 2016, at the American Legion Post 88, 2864 Elm Hill Pike in Donelson, and operate both as if a real disaster had occurred.


TNVOAD needs volunteers who would like to play victims of a disaster and who want learn more about how they can actually work in a disaster to help survivors.


“This is a rare opportunity to learn what to expect if you are a survivor of a disaster and what resources are available to help get you through that time,” said David Sledge, TNVOAD executive committee member. “There will be several TNVOAD organizations participating at this event so volunteers will also be helping these organizations practice for a real event.”


Volunteers just need to come to the VRC and POD location in Donelson between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., CDT, and let TNVOAD know they would like to learn about working with the organization or what resources would be available.


For more information, send an email to David Sledge, david.sledge@tn.gov, or visit TNVOAD at tnvoad.shutterfly.com.


The community volunteer recovery event is part of TEMA’s annual catastrophic exercise, known as TNCAT ’16 (pronounced TEN-CAT for Tennessee Catastrophic Exercise). TNCAT is an annual, large-scale disaster planning event used to enhance the coordination and communication among local, state and private sector entities. The TNCAT exercise moves to a different region of the state each year, and past exercises have simulated catastrophic earthquakes, wildfires and winter storms.


ABOUT TEMA
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.


April 22, 2016

East Tennessee Wildfire Status 4-22-16


Please see the update below on the status of the wildfires in East Tennessee. There are no actives fires at this time and there are no new fires posing a threat. A number of fires are still being monitoring until declared as out. TEMA will remain at Level IV – Elevated through the weekend for updates on the monitored fires.


2016 East Tennessee Spring Wildfires
April 22, 2016


This report provides details of wildfires where the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry (TDF) has active involvement and may not include fires worked solely by the USDA Forest Service or local departments.


Weather Forecast
A WEAK COLD FRONT WILL PUSH THROUGH THE AREA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING…THEN EXIT TO THE EAST. A RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD OVER THE REGION FOR THE WEEKEND.
Burn Permits are being issued by phone today in the 24 counties of the East Tennessee District.


Fire Status


New Fires
No new fires.


Active Fires
No active fires at this time.


Monitored Fires (All fires will be monitored until declared out.)

Glades Rd. Fire (Sevier)
• Size: 7 acres
• Containment: 100%
• Other: 1 structure lost.

Little White Oak Rd. Fire (Campbell)
• Size: 100+ acres
• Containment: 100%

French Hamby Rd #1 Fire (Morgan)
• Size: 60 acres
• Containment: 100%

French Hamby Rd #2 Fire (Morgan)
• Size: 2 acres
• Containment: 100%

Camp Austin Rd Fire (Morgan)
• Size: 10 acres
• Containment: 100%

Railroad Grade Fire (Carter) – Federal
• Size: 1500 acres
• Containment: 65%

Flatwood Road (Raccoon) Fire (Sullivan) – Federal
• Size: 285 acres
• Containment: 50%

Nelson Rd. Fire (Morgan)
• Size: 50 acres
• Containment: 100%

State Line Fire (Cocke) – Federal
• Size: 1068
• Containment: 90%

Mountain Rd Fire (Campbell)
• Size: 30 acres
• Containment: 100%

Hill Lane Fire (Campbell)
• Size: 6 acres
• Containment: 100%

Leatherwood Hollow Rd Fire (Claiborne)
• Size: 50 acres
• Containment: 100%
• Other: citation issued

Brodeo Rd Fire (Morgan)
• Size: 5
• Containment: 100%

Self Hollow Rd (Blount)
• Size: 40 acres
• Containment: 100%

Starr Mt. / White Cliff Fire (McMinn) – Cumberland District – Federal
• Size: 135 acres
• Containment: 100%

Roses Creek Fire (Claiborne)
• Size: 600 acres
• Containment: 100%

Gatlinburg Fire (Sevier)
• Size: 5 acres
• Containment: 100%

Bluff Mountain Fire (Sevier)
• Size: 153 acres
• Containment: 100%
• Other: 6 homes lost, 9 damaged

Shields Mountain Fire (Sevier)
• Size: 12 acres
• Containment: 100%

Rock Creek/Clairfield Fire (Claiborne)
• Size: 40 acres
• Containment: 100%

Cumberland Fire/Carr Gap Rd. (Claiborne)
• Size: 50 acres
• Containment: 100%

Powerline/Heaton Branch Fire (Carter)
• Size: 60 acres
• Containment: 100%


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.

April 19, 2016

Status of East Tennessee Wildfires


Below is an afternoon status update on the East Tennessee wildfires. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and Tennessee Department of Agriculture are receiving progress updates on containment of the current, active wildfires and are monitoring for any other outbreaks. The Tennessee Department of Military, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Department of Transportation, U.S. Forestry and myriad local fire departments are engaged in the wildfire response. The State Emergency Operations Center remains at Level IV – Elevated status due to the continuing wildfire threat.


This report provides details of wildfires where the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry (TDF) has active involvement and may not include fires worked solely by the USDA Forest Service or local departments.


Weather Forecast

· Low relative humidity earlier today but expected to increase tonight to around 80%
· Precipitation expected Thursday night
· Burn permits were restricted today. Online permits were not issued and applicants were required to call for a permit. Callers were given a warning to be mindful about extremely low relative humidity expected throughout the day as well as winds on slopes.


​Active Wildfires

Old Railroad Grade Fire (Carter) – Federal
· Size: 400 acres
· Containment: spot fires beyond containment line forcing crews to cut new lines
· TDF Resources: 3 personnel, 1 pumper, 1 dozer
· Other: USDA Forest Service has assumed control of this fire

Cumberland Fire (Claiborne)
· Size: 50 acres, new 1 acre reset across the road
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: 10 personnel, 2 engines, 4 dozers
· Other: backfire completed this morning; new set discovered at 1513 called in.

State Line Fire (Sevier) – Federal
· Size: 400+ acres; after backfire it could be ~1000 acres
· Containment: 30%
· Federal Resources: 125 personnel, 2 engines, 2 dozers, 1 helicopter
· Other: HWY 25/70 is closed to through traffic. It will reopen as soon as it is safe for travel.

Flatwood Road Fire (Sullivan)
· Size: 40+ acres
· Containment: no estimate
· TDF Resources: 11 personnel, 3 engines, 2 dozers

​Starr Mt. / White Cliff Fire (McMinn) – Cumberland District
· Size: 80 acres
· Containment: 30%
· TDF Resources: 11 state 5 federal, 2 state dozers, 1 federal


Inactive Wildfires

Gatlinburg Fire (Sevier)
· Size: 5 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none
· Other: Near main road leading into Gatlinburg

Powerline Fire (Carter)
· Size: 60 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Roses Creek Fire (Claiborne)
· Size: 600 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none
· Other: backfire completed last night

Rock Creek/Clairfield Fire (Claiborne)
· Size: 40 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Buffalo (Claiborne)
· Size: 60 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Bluff Mountain Fire (Sevier)
· Size: 150 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none
· Other:
· 6 homes lost, 9 damaged
· Concerned about eastern flank holding with predicted winds.

Shields Mountain Fire (Sevier)
· Size: 12 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none
· Other: Steep terrain

Nydeck Road Fire (Morgan)
· Size: 30 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Cassell Road (Morgan)
· Size: 25 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Highway 27 (Morgan)
· Size: 20 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none

Seedtick Road (Morgan)
· Size: 2 acres
· Containment: 100%
· TDF Resources: none


Basic Wildfire Safety

• Obey burn bans.
• Avoid activities that cause open flames or sparks.
• Properly discard cigarettes – do not throw them from vehicles.
• If you smell smoke or see fire, move in a direction opposite the fire immediately.
• If you see a wildfire and haven’t received evacuation orders yet, call 9-1-1. Don’t assume that someone else has already called.
• If ordered to evacuate during a wildfire, do it immediately- make sure and tell someone where you are going and when you have arrived.
• Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the route to take and have plan of where you will go. Check-in with your friends and family.
• Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
• If you or someone you are with has been burned, call 9-1-1 or seek help immediately; cool and cover burns to reduce chance of further injury or infection.
• Monitor TV and Radio. You’ll get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
• Keep your car fueled, in good condition, and stocked with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.


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.