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December 2, 2016

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/.