TEMA’s 11 am update on TN storms and flooding

News release from Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (11 am, 9/1/2017)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The remnants of Harvey continue to impact Tennessee as heavy rain and high winds lead to power outages, road closures, and some reported damage.
  • Overnight, some local communities conducted search and rescue operations and evacuated residents from rising flood waters.

  • Currently, I-24, both east and west bound lanes, on Monteagle Mountain are closed due to downed power lines.
  • Tennesseans should monitor weather forecasts and be ready if local officials issue emergency protective actions.
  • Flash Flood Watches remain in place in West and Middle Tennessee.  High winds will continue to be a threat today with potential impacts to knock down trees and power lines, and damage structures.
  • The State Emergency Operations Center is staffed and to address any life-safety issues or request needs.

CURRENT SITUATION

Harvey’s rain and high winds will continue to impact Tennessee today.  Areas of West Tennessee have reported up to 9” of rain in some locations.  Davidson County in Middle Tennessee indicates 8” to 9” of rain since yesterday.  East Tennessee will also experience Harvey’s heavy rains and high winds today.  Flash flood watches and high wind advisories are to remain in place today as flash flooding and winds above 35 mph are expected.

Currently, 18,000 people area without power in Davidson, Montgomery, and Shelby counties.  Overnight peak power outages across Tennessee totaled 40,000 customers.

More than 20 school systems are closed today due to weather conditions.

 RESPONSE ACTIONS

Overnight, first responders conducted search and rescues in Davidson, Dickson, and Sumner counties.  Davidson County evacuated residents in Joelton from rising flood waters.

The American Red Cross opened two shelters overnight in Davidson County at the First Baptist Church in Joelton, with 17 occupants, and in Shelby County at the Brown Missionary Baptist Church, with five occupants.

Downed power lines have closed Interstate 24 in both directions on Monteagle Mountain, near Sewanee, Tenn.  Currently, I-24 eastbound is being diverted off exit 134, and I-24 westbound is now being diverted off exit 135.

The National Weather Service issued 20 tornado warnings and 13 flash flood warnings across West and Middle Tennessee overnight.   There are no confirmed tornado touchdowns at this time.

Local officials in Mt. Pleasant, Goodlettsville, and Bordeax are out today conducting damage assessments.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is reporting localized flooding impacts to roads in a number of West Tennessee counties, including Chester, Crockett, Fayette, Hardeman, Haywood, Gibson Henderson, Madison, and McNairy,

Hwy. 51 in Obion County, just south of Union City, is closed until further notice due to an overnight accident.

The U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers reports heavy rain in Cheatham County, 6” to 9”, will cause waterway restrictions over the next couple of days.

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is activated and staffed with partners from State of Tennessee departments.  SEOC staff are monitoring Harvey’s impact in the state and standing ready to assist local jurisdictions with any life-saving measures or need requests.

TEMA’s 24-hour Watch Point is also checking data from river gauges for situational awareness to anticipate cresting points from the heavy rain.

SEOC priorities remain to address any life-safety issues, respond to local requests or needs, and monitor Harvey’s impact in Tennessee. 

HURRICANE IRMA

The next named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Irma, currently is located 1,580 miles east of the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, a category 2 storm.

Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph. A turn toward the west is expected by tonight, followed by a turn toward the west-southwest on Saturday. Fluctuations in strength, up or down, are possible during the next few days, but Irma is expected to remain a powerful Hurricane through the weekend.

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