Emergency Management Agency Preparing Tennessee For Hurricane/Tropical Cyclone Irma
• The first rain bands of Irma, now a tropical depression, are already in east Tennessee, and will be moving into middle and west Tennessee tonight.
• Irma’s center will be near Jackson around 2 a.m. on Wednesday.
• SEOC activated to State of Emergency as Irma moves closer to Tennessee.
• American Red Cross maintaining five open shelters in Tennessee.
• Tennessee Department of Tourism providing updated hotel accommodations to evacuees at Welcome Centers.
• Florida issues special instructions for evacuees
Hurricane Irma, now a tropical depression, is moving gradually inland today after striking the Florida Keys Sunday and moving up Florida’s west coast. Irma’s winds are down to 65 mph and the storm is moving NNW at 17 mph.
Irma is still a large and powerful storm with significant wind speeds and heavy rains.
Flooding is expected across the Florida peninsula, southern Georgia, and into southern South Carolina, where 10” of rainfall amounts are forecast.
Irma will continue to lose energy as it moves north and west; however, parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee can expect 2” to 4” of rainfall, with isolated higher amounts.
The main threats in Tennessee remain high winds which can down trees and power lines, and causing scattered power outages, and heavy rains producing localized, minor flooding.
• Memphis: Increasing clouds, with a high near 77. North northeast wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts from 40 to 50 mph tonight.
• Jackson: Partly sunny, with a high near 74. North northeast wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph tonight.
• Nashville: A 20 percent chance of showers after 1pm. Cloudy, with a high near 70. North northeast wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph tonight.
• Knoxville: A 50 percent chance of showers, mainly after 2pm. Cloudy, with a high near 67. Northeast wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph tonight.
• Chattanooga: Showers, mainly after 11am. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 67. Breezy, with a northeast wind 5 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph tonight.
• Bristol: A 40 percent chance of showers after 2 p.m. Cloudy with a high near 67. East wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph tonight.
SPECIAL MESSAGES FROM FLORIDA OFFICIALS FOR EVACUEES
• Irma’s remnants will affect Florida, Georgia, and Alabama for a few more days.
• Travel will be difficult along major Florida Interstates: I-10, I-75, and I-95.
• Before evacuees attempt to return:
o Check with your county government to see if it is safe to return to your home.
o Check FL511.com for current road conditions and information.
o Visit http://www.flordiadisaster.com for State updates.
IRMA PREPARATION AND RESPONSE ACTIVITIES
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is activated to State of Emergency status and staffed with partners from State of Tennessee departments. SEOC staff are monitoring Irma’s movement toward Tennessee and standing ready to assist local jurisdictions with any life-saving measures or need requests.
The American Red Cross, along with community partners and independent community partners has opened 5 shelters in Tennessee for evacuees of Hurricane Irma:
• Christ Lutheran Church, 229 Haywood Lane, Nashville, TN 37211 (Capacity 20, Availability 20, Pet Friendly Shelter)
• East Brainerd Church of Christ, 7745 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421 (Capacity 200, Availability 169, Special Needs Shelter)
• First Lutheran Church, 118 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203 (Capacity 20, Availability 20, Pet Friendly Shelter)
• University Parkway Baptist Church, 219 University Parkway, Johnson City, TN 37604 (Capacity 75, Availability 73)
• Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, 70 N. Bellevue Boulevard, Memphis, TN 38104 (Capacity 200, Available 97)
The American Red Cross encourages anyone coming to an emergency shelter to bring personal items for each member of their family: prescription and emergency medication, extra clothes, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and important documents.
Find a shelter by visiting redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also puts real time information about the storm and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips.
The Tennessee Department of Tourism asks Hurricane Irma evacuees check at Tennessee Welcome Centers for a list of available hotel and motel accommodations as lodging availability is constantly being updated.
• TEMA encourages everyone to be informed about their local forecast, check road information, and be ready if local authorities issue warnings or emergency actions in their area.
• Monitor local news and weather broadcasts for current weather and traffic information, and have multiple ways to receive weather info and warnings, such as NOAA weather radio.
• Tennesseans also can download any number of weather smartphone apps to get weather information, including watch and warning notifications direct to mobile devices.
• Do not drive or walk through high water – Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
• Do not attempt to move any downed power lines. Instead contact your local power company to report the damage or call 9-1-1 if it is an emergency situation.