TEMA Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Storm - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

TEMA Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Storm

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by Emily Luxen

NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has declared a state of emergency over concerns of ice and widespread flooding across the state.

The declaration allows TEMA to open its emergency operations center, so employees and members of various state agencies can work together to monitor damage reports and help counties in need.

"Anytime we get a weather forecast that says we are going to have ice over a 12 hour period, and it could be more than a half inch, that is serious," said TEMA Director James Bassham.

Bassham said he is concerned about conditions developing overnight ranging from icy roads, to flooding, and power outages.

The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning for much of the state west of the Cumberland Plateau. Much of West Tennessee is expected to receive between one-quarter and a half-inch of freezing rain.

Nashville Electric Service also has crews on stand by if there are power outages.

"The biggest threat to us is trees or tree limbs failing," said NES Spokesman Tim Hill. "We have an active tree trimming program so we've cut limbs away from the lines, so hopefully that will prevent some of that."

TEMA and the American Red Cross are advising residents to take the warnings seriously, and stay off the roads if possible, keep water and extra clothes in your car in case it breaks down, and keep battery powered flashlights and radios at home in case of a power outage.

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