The State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville has issued a statewide status report. This information is current as of 4 p.m. CDT on Friday, May 6, 2011.
TEMA’s media line is 615-741-0482. Public Information Officers will be available for media interviews during operating hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday.
FLOODING CAUSES ROAD CLOSURE IN SHELBY COUNTY
The Tennessee Department of Transportation has closed a portion of State Route 3 (U.S. 51) in Shelby County due to flooding. Flood waters from the Loosahatchie Bottom have covered an approximate one mile section of SR 3 at Fite Road, about five miles south of State Route 385.
The area will remain closed until the water recedes. The detour routes are as follows:
• From Millington to Memphis – State Route 385 East to State Route 14 South to I-40, Exit 8
• From Memphis to Millington – I-40, Exit 8, to State Route 14 North to State Route 385 West to State Route 3
BURN PERMIT WAIVED FOR BRADLEY AND BLEDSOE COUNTIES
The need to obtain a debris burning permit from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, typically required of all state residents from Oct. 15 – May 15 of each year, has been waived for Bledsoe and Bradley counties. The severe thunderstorms with damaging winds that swept through the two counties last week is responsible for widespread knockdown of trees and forest stands. Many residents in those counties are without phone lines making it difficult to obtain a permit.
The Division recognizes that burning is an efficient method of debris disposal, and that the heavy rains and recent ‘green up’ of the forest have resulted in relatively low fire danger. Residents who want to burn debris should still exercise caution by following safe burning practices such as establishing fire breaks around the pile, keeping an eye on the weather for sudden changes, having water and equipment handy to control fire, and to always stay with your fire until it is completely out. For more safe debris burning tips, visit www.BurnSafeTN.org.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has declared 10 Tennessee counties (Bledsoe, Bradley, Cocke, Greene, Johnson, Hamilton, McMinn, Monroe, Rhea and Washington) eligible for federal assistance to individuals and families who have suffered damage from the recent tornadoes and storms. The process starts with a phone call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. Online, it’s www.DisasterAssistance.gov or through smartphones at m.fema.gov
There are 18 shelters open in Tennessee with 324 occupants.
Currently, 849 customers are without power in the state.