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January 4, 2016

TEMA 5 p.m. Flash Update for 01-04-16 on Severe Storms, Tornadoes & Flooding

Please see the following information, noting the State of Emergency will end in Tennessee today when the State Emergency Operations Center returns to a Level IV-Elevated status as of 5 p.m., CST. Should potential impacts escalate or requests for State assistance increase, the State will return to State of Emergency.


The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) will return to Level IV – Elevated status today, Jan. 4, 2015, as of 5 p.m., CST. This ends the State of Emergency in place since 8 p.m., CST, on Wed., Dec. 23, 2015, due to severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding.

Before the New Year, TEMA, a number of local county Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs), the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers (ACOE) and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have been monitoring significant flooding issues and impacts upstream on the Mississippi River from heavy Midwest rains. Illinois and Missouri have seen significant impacts with 24 fatalities reported across both states and impacts to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.

The latest forecasts for the Mississippi and Tennessee rivers indicate a diminishing threat for record flooding in Tennessee. Historically low-lying areas along the Mississippi River in Tennessee could see flood waters and pool rises on lakes will be unseasonably high.

Local EMAs, ACOE, TEMA and TVA continue to monitor river and lake levels, and forecasts, and to inspect levees for potential breeches, surprise rises, and threats.

Residents should use caution if they encounter high water – Turn Around! Don’t Drown!


The biggest impact currently from the flooding is road closures in three West Tennessee counties, as follows:

SR 79 in Lake County between HATAWAY LN. and SR 181 (GREAT RIVER ROAD)
SR 103 in Dyer County between SR 181 (GREAT RIVER ROAD) and the WOODS RD
SR 104 in Dyer County between the Mississippi River and SHANNON ST (Finley Community)
SR 181 (GREAT RIVER ROAD) in Dyer County between Interstate 155 and SR 88 (This levee road is not under water at this time)
SR 88 in Lauderdale County, West of PORTERS GAP
SR 19 in Lauderdale County, West of CRAIG RD


Damage surveys from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from Dec. 23 to Dec. 28, 2015, are ongoing.

The National Weather Service has confirmed five tornadoes touched down in Tennessee on Dec. 23, 2015, with two tornadoes, an EF1 and an EF3, in Wayne County; an EF2 tornado in Perry County; an EF2 tornado in DeKalb and Smith counties; and, an EF1 tornado in Madison County.

The National Weather Service confirmed an additional tornado touchdown in Bedford County of an EF1 on Dec. 25, 2015.

Tennessee has six, confirmed, weather-related fatalities:

• Maury County (3) – two, 17-year-old males; one, 16-year-old female
• Perry County (2) – one, 70-year-old male; one, 69-year-old female
• Rhea County (1) – one, 22-year-old male

This will be the final Flash Report on Tennessee’s severe storms and tornadoes, flooding, unless there are other significant developments.

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.