22 deaths confirmed as Tennessee elevated to Level II State of E - WSMV News 4

22 deaths confirmed as Tennessee elevated to Level II State of Emergency

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has accepted the recommendation of TEMA Deputy Commissioner David Purkey to elevate to a Level II-State of Emergency in recognizing a major disaster in Tennessee.

The Level II – State of Emergency activation is effective as of 3:00 p.m., CST, on 2/21/15. The SEOC is receiving reports of major impacts to infrastructure, power and roads as a result of the overnight snow and ice storm and the current heavy rain in the state.

Definition of Level II – State of Emergency

A major disaster as defined by TCA 58-2-101 as an event that will likely exceed local capabilities and require a broad range of state and federal assistance. The TEMP and the SEOC are activated in accordance with TCA 58-2-107(b)(2), and a decision by the Governor or his representative (Director of TEMA) declares a state of emergency. The full staff or most of the staff of the SEOC is activated, typically in a 24-hour continuous operation. This disaster may meet eligibility requirements for a federal disaster declaration under the provisions of the Stafford Act.

The heaviest impacts are in the Cumberland Plateau area of Tennessee with heavy damage reports and power outages in Cumberland, Fentress, Overton, Putnam and White counties.

Rain has diminished in West Tennessee but temperatures are expected to fall into the 20s tonight, resulting in slick roads, with a chance of snow on Sunday. In Middle Tennessee and East Tennessee are reporting heavy rain and ice and snow still on the ground in many areas.


Tennessee National Guard as two Humvee crews, with four staff members, working on wellness checks in White County with another three crews, and six staff members, to be deployed.

Tennessee Highway Patrol reports slow-moving traffic in both directions on I-40 at the 301 to 320 mile-markers. Hwy. 70 in White County, Hwy. 84 in Morgan County, U.S. 70 in Putnam County, from Cookeville to Monterey, are all reporting road issues.

Tennessee Division of Forestry has 20 chainsaw crews working in Putnam and Cumberland counties to clear debris. Another three crews are in Morgan County and another four crews are in Scott County. TDOT and VOAD also are assisting with chainsaw crews.

The American Red Cross and Tennessee Department of Human Services are identifying needs for mass sheltering due to power outages and mass feeding missions.

TEMA has set up a Shelter Management Task Force and a Debris Management Task Force to work with key state and private sector partners to identify areas of priority and dispatch personnel .

Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency is doing wellness checks on I-40 on the Cumberland Plateau and in White County.

Power Outages

There are 32, 698 customers without power in Tennessee over seven counties:  Bledsoe (220); Cumberland (20,000); Fentress (8,555); Monroe (236); Overton (1,176); Putnam (1,200); and White (1,311).

Fatalities (Since Feb. 16, 2015)

Tennessee has 22, confirmed, weather-related fatalities:

  • Benton County – One (1) fatality: 64-year-old female, motor vehicle accident
  • Hamilton County – One (1) fatality: 63-year-old male, hypothermia related
  • Haywood County – One (1) fatality: 40-year-old female, motor vehicle accident
  • Henry County – Two (2) fatalities: 64-year-old female, hypothermia related; 69-year-old male, hypothermia related
  • Hickman County (1) fatality: 67-year-old male, dialysis patient, unable to get to treatment
  • Knox County – Four (4) fatalities: 30-year-old male, motor vehicle accident; 75-year-old male, fire; 68-year-old female, fire; 47-year-old male, fire
  • Moore County – One (1) fatality: 73-year-old male, hypothermia
  • Overton County – One (1) fatality: 38-year-old female, motor vehicle accident
  • Roane County – One (1) fatality, 44-year-old male, hypothermia related
  • Sequatchie – One (1) fatality, 85-year-old male, hypothermia related
  • Sevier – Two (2) fatalities, 70-year-old female, hypothermia related; (age unknown) male, hypothermia related
  • Shelby County – Three (3) fatalities: 48-year-old male, hypothermia related; (age unknown) male, hypothermia related; (demographics unknown), hypothermia related.
  • Sumner County – One (1) fatality:  60-year-old male, weather related
  • Williamson County – Two (2) fatalities: 34-year-old female; 10-year-old male, motor vehicle accident


The American Red Cross has seven shelters open in five counties with 311 occupants:

  • Overton – Livingston, First Baptist Church, 10 occupants

  • Overton – Crawford, Wilson Elementary, 0 occupants

  • Putnam – Cookeville, First United Methodist Church, 36 occupants

  • Putnam – Monterey, First Baptist Church, 75 occupants

  • Cumberland – Crossville, Cumberland Fellowship Baptist Church, 146 occupants

  • White – Sparta, National Guard Armory, 36 occupants

  • Fentress – Jamestown, First Baptist Church, 8 occupants

State Agencies working the storm response include: Environment & Conservations; Finance & Administration, General Services, Health, Human Services, National Guard, Tennessee Division of Forestry, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Volunteer Tennessee. Response support is also being provided from the American Red Cross, FEMA, National Weather Service, Tennessee Valley Authority and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster.
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