TEMA

TN search and rescue teams head to TX

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

Nashville, Tenn. – Swiftwater search and rescue teams representing the State of Tennessee will make their way toward southeast Texas this afternoon to conduct life-saving operations to help local authorities dealing with the unprecedented impact of Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm.

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Haslam wants review of Gatlinburg wildfire; doesn’t want to be a ‘Monday morning quarterback’

Gov. Bill Haslam says a review of the way state and local officials handled the Sevier County wildfires should be open and transparent but he doesn’t want to be a “Monday morning quarterback,” reports the News Sentinel.

“I don’t think there’s anything to hide from anything that I know about,” Haslam said, speaking to the media after meeting with a group of community college leaders in Nashville. “There’s been some remarkable stories of people coming through in a very dangerous and obviously critical situation.

“So from where I stand, there’s nothing I’ve seen anywhere in the process that somebody needs to hide anything. I don’t know why that would be.”

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12 TN counties covered by fed disaster declaration from May storms

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced (Friday) evening 12 counties will receive federal aid assistance through a Presidential Disaster Declaration as the recovery process continues in several areas from the severe storms and straight-line winds of May 27, and May 28, 2017.

“Local, state, and federal partners came together in a collaborative effort to assess impacts rapidly so we could have accurate storm damage data and illustrate our need for a disaster declaration to President Trump,” Haslam said. “I am grateful to all the first responders, emergency managers, and community members who have united to help others recover from the impact of these storms.”

Tennessee counties included in the Presidential Declaration are:  Blount, Cumberland, Fayette, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Sevier, Shelby, and Smith.

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Sevier County designated disaster area for federal aid

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced this evening (Thursday) 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.

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Haslam: Find out what happened with failure of wildfire notification system

Gov.  Bill Haslam’s response Monday to reporter questions on reports that Sevier County officials failed to alert people about the need to evacuate prior to the wildfires last week that killed 14 people and left thousands homeless in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, as reported in the News Sentinel:

“We talked a little bit about that this morning in terms of when the notice went out, what happened, how much was impacted by cell towers going down (and) how much was impacted by people who had phones that weren’t capable of receiving the messages,” Haslam said… “So I think that’s what you’ll see both the local emergency management people and our folks saying is, ‘What happened, and how can we make certain that in the future that everybody gets the notification that they need?’ “

Haslam stopped short of saying he thought officials waited too long to attempt to send out an evacuation alert.

“Don’t lose the fact that a lot of people have done incredible work,” he said. “… I wasn’t at their command center, so I don’t know how they made those decisions, but this was a pretty unprecedented storm, and a lot of things had to come together in a wrong way to make this happen. … We will take the time and local officials will, too, to go back and say what we could have done better.”

TEMA Friday afternoon update: Wildfire fatalities now at 13, tornado deaths at 4

Here is a Friday update from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency on the Sevier County fires and southeast Tennessee tornadoes:

December 2, 2016 – 1 p.m., Central

Activation:  LEVEL 3 – STATE OF EMERGENCY

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.

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TEMA Thursday update on wildfires, tornadoes

Here is the Thursday morning update from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency on Sevier County wildfires and the tornado outbreak in Southeast Tennessee.

Sevier County Wildfire

Tennessee Tornado Outbreak

December 1, 2016 – 10 a.m., Central

Activation:  LEVEL 3 – STATE OF EMERGENCY

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 tornados 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.

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TEMA: Seven deaths now reported in Sevier County fires, two in Polk County storm

Here’s the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency’s latest update on wildfires in Sevier County and storms in Southeast Tennessee.

November 30, 2016 – 5 p.m., Central

Activation:  LEVEL 3 – STATE OF EMERGENCY

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.

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TEMA update on wildfires, tornadoes at 11 a.m. CST Wednesday

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

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.

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Drought, wildfires prompt TEMA to declare state of emergency

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

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.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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