The State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville has issued a statewide status report. This information is current as of 8 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 4, 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.
FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION FOR SEVERE STORMS & TORNADOES
Residents in Bradley, Greene, Hamilton and Washington counties who sustained losses due to the storms, flash flooding and tornadoes that struck the state April 25 through April 28, 2011 can begin applying for assistance immediately through FEMA by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
DEATHS & INJURIES
There are 37 confirmed fatalities in Tennessee.
Bledsoe County – 4
Bradley County – 9
Crockett County – 1
Franklin County – 1
Greene County – 6
Hamilton County – 11
Johnson County – 2
Sequatchie County – 1
Washington County – 1
Williamson County – 1
There have been 94 confirmed injuries with the majority being reported from Hamilton County.
Currently, 7,932 customers are without power in the state.
TENNESSEE FLOODING UPDATE
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department closed westbound lanes of Interstate 40 near mile marker 202 due to high water. Closure of the eastbound lanes at this location is imminent and could occur within the next several hours.
For more information on flooded highways visit www.arkansashighways.com and go to Flood Information or call the Public Affairs Office at 501-569-2572.
Interstate Camera Outages
Significant outages to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) SmartWay camera system have occurred in the Memphis area due to flooding along the Mississippi River. Approximately 30 cameras on Interstates 40 and 55 are off-line at this time, with outages possibly lasting as long as three weeks. For more information, visit www.tn.gov/tdot or dial 5-1-1 from any land line or cell phone.
Evacuations have occurred in Dyer, Lake, Obion and Stewart counties, as well as low-lying areas of Memphis including Mud Island and Millington in Shelby County.
Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
Drinking water systems are operational. Numerous wastewater systems have pump stations and manholes under water, causing localized overflows in the collection system.
Tennessee State Parks
Four Tennessee State Parks are closed due to flooding: Fort Pillow in Lauderdale County, Johnsonville in Humphreys County, Mousetail Landing in Perry County and Reelfoot Lake in Lake County.
There are currently 17 Red Cross shelters open (10 on stand-by) in Tennessee with approximately 310 occupants.
Call 2-1-1 for assistance or to donate goods, services or money to help communities in need.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and volunteer organizations active in disaster relief are partnering with the United Way of Tennessee to provide 2-1-1 as a single source for disaster survivors to get assistance from local groups and non-profits, as well as coordinate volunteer efforts with local agencies.
If you need help, call 2-1-1 and operators in the call centers will match the unmet need with the appropriate volunteer agency, non-profit group or charitable organization.
If you are having a life-safety emergency, you should always call 9-1-1.
PUBLIC SAFETY MESSAGES
– Exercise caution when using portable generators. Many residents might have turned to the gas-powered devices in the wake of the storm and tornado activity that has severed electric service to customers.
Remember to fuel the generators outdoors and to station them outdoors, to minimize the risk of asphyxiation from the fumes emitted by the generators. Do not connect them to a home’s electrical outlet, as doing so can pose a risk to personnel working to restore electrical service to a residential area.
– The public is strongly encouraged to limit travel in flooded areas and use extreme caution. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Turn Around Don’t Drown!
People are urged to avoid risky behavior, keeping clear of storm water drains, inlets and pipes whenever possible. Currents in flood ravaged areas can be particularly strong, proving challenging for even the most skilled water rescue personnel. Trying to unclog storm water drains can pose a dangerous situation and is a potential drowning hazard.
– Flood waters may contain bacteria from human and animal wastes. While skin contact with flood water does not, by itself, pose a serious health risk, the public should avoid direct contact with standing water when possible to lessen the chance for infection or illness. Chemical contamination of flood waters can also occur and contamination levels may be higher nearer to sources such as industrial locations. Skin and clothing should be washed thoroughly after contact with flood water.
Flood safety and health information from the Tennessee Department of Health at http://health.state.tn.us/FloodandSafety/floodandsafety.htm