TEMA storm report: 4 tornadoes, 6 dead

Here’s the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency’s Saturday afternoon report reviewing storm damage across the state from a wave of bad weather:

News release from TEMA
Heavy rain and storms over the past 24-hours has caused widespread flooding issues for a number of Tennessee counties, primarily in the eastern part of the state. The following is a summary of the current impacts of the flooding, to include an update on the severe storms and tornadoes of Dec. 23, 2015. This will be the only TEMA update today unless there are other significant developments.

CURRENT SITUATION
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) remains at a Level III-State of Emergency, declared at 8 p.m., CST on Wed., Dec. 23, 2015, due to severe storms and tornadoes.

More severe storms and heavy rain impacted Tennessee on Dec. 25, 2015, resulting in significant flooding in many counties, with widespread impact in East Tennessee. From two to four inches of rain fell over East Tennessee yesterday with local reports of up to five inches of rain in some areas.

The heavy rain caused damage to road and bridges primarily, with local officials also reporting impacts to homes, businesses and some public facilities. Notably, a sewer treatment plant in Morristown in Hamblen County overflowed into Turkey Creek; several swift water rescues were conducted in Marion County; a sink hole opened in Jefferson County; and, Rhea County’s Schools Central Office and some schools in Dayton reported water damage. A county-by-county update is provided below.

Bledsoe, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn and Meigs counties remain under flood warnings.

Currently, there are no confirmed fatalities or injuries from the widespread flooding. There are no reports of widespread power outages or shelters opening. TEMA’s East Region office continues to monitor the situation and gather situation reports from county emergency managers.

TEMA’s Watch Point in Nashville is actively monitoring weather reports and forecasts from National Weather Service offices in Memphis, Nashville, Morristown and Huntsville, Ala. as West Tennessee is currently experiencing isolated thunderstorms and more heavy rain is expected in Tennessee over the next few days.

The heavy rain will also impact the ability of local Emergency Managers to conduct damage surveys in flooded areas until flood waters can recede.

UPDATE ON SEVERE STORMS & TORNADOES
Damage surveys from the severe storms and tornadoes on Dec. 23, and Dec. 24, 2015, are ongoing and will be for some days as forecast for rain and severe weather impacts the ability to conduct extensive damage assessments.

The National Weather Service has confirmed four tornadoes touched down in Tennessee with two tornadoes, an EF1 and an EF3, in Wayne County; an EF2 tornado in Perry County; and, an EF2 tornado in DeKalb and Smith counties.

Tennessee has six, confirmed, weather-related fatalities:
• Maury County (3) – two, 17-year-old males; one, 16-year-old female
• Perry County (2) – one, 70-year-old male; one, 26-year-old female
• Rhea County (1) – one, 22-year-old male

COUNTY-BY-COUNTY FLOOD IMPACTS
• Bedford – Emergency manager reported roof damage from storm at a factory
• Bledsoe – Seven roads remain closed with damage unknown
• Blount – Six units with minor flooding in an apartment complex, residents returned
• Bradley – One family displaced from home due to flooding
• Claiborne – Minor flooding in low-lying areas
• Fentress – Reported water over one bridge
• Hamblen – Sewage treatment plant impacted
• Hamilton – One home flooded; some roads covered with water
• Henderson – Minor power outages
• Jefferson – Sinkhole reported
• Johnson – Flooding damage to some secondary roads
• Marion – Four majors roads covered with water; lots of debris
• McMinn – Roads damaged
• Meigs – Five county roads remain underwater
• Monroe – Mannis and Carson roads closed; multiple roads damaged
• Polk – Reported two highways flooded, Hwy. 411 and Hwy. 64, with mudslide on Hwy. 64
• Rhea – Two homes, apartment building, schools, and a few businesses flooded
• Rutherford – Reported several roads closed due to high water
• Scott – Some flooding; one road underwater
• Sequatchie – Some roads experience flooding
• Unicoi – One tree down; 50 customers without power at one point but restored
• Washington – Small sink hole in Johnson City repaired

WEATHER FORECAST
West – Marginal risk of severe storms with damaging winds and hail as primary threat. Damaging winds possible Sunday through Monday, with a Flash Flood Watch in effect Sunday through Monday.

Middle – Minor river flooding expected today with dry conditions in the afternoon. A chance for strong to severe storms by Monday.

East – Showers continuing with many rivers and streams at flood stage. The ground will remain saturated as the next storm systems moves in Monday and Monday night. This could lead to additional flooding.

PRIORITIES

Protect lives and property as needed.
Prepare to support potential local resource requests and efforts.
Monitor present and forecasted weather conditions.
Support local government as needed.