State and federal officials had plenty of important updates for Middle Tennessee residents Tuesday night, less than 24 hours after severe weather and tornadoes devastated parts of the region and claimed at least 25 lives.
Tennessee remained at a Level 3 state of emergency as of Tuesday night, according to a press release from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.
At a Level 3, a serious emergency or minor disaster has already occurred, and TEMA officials are to coordinate with local and state partners.
“At this time, the primary mission is life-safety and search and rescue,” TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said in a press release.
“Currently the number of injuries and damaged structures is unknown.”
U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07), in a press release, said he will continue to work alongside state, local, and federal officials, including those from TEMA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Our hearts are broken, and our prayers are with all Tennesseans affected by the tornadoes last night across Middle Tennessee,” Green said.
“Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency have activated a swift and coordinated response effort as shelters and emergency personnel continue to serve those impacted,” he added.
Sheehan said Tuesday night that his agency had activated the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan with an all-hands response from state emergency officials and activation of the State Emergency Operations Center.
Among the highlights of Sheehan’s Tuesday night press release:
• Davidson County officials reported approximately 44,500 without power. NES estimated they would restore power by Wednesday afternoon.
• Wilson County reported approximately 11,500 people did not have power.
• The Upper Cumberland (Putnam and Jackson counties) would likely have power fully restored by sunset Tuesday night.
• The number of injuries was unknown.
• Damage and road assessments were ongoing as of Tuesday night.
• Of the 25 known fatalities, 19 were in Putnam County. Wilson County had three fatalities. Davidson County had two fatalities. Benton County had one fatality.
• I-40 had reopened traffic in both eastbound and westbound directions.
• Davidson and Wilson Counties reported several schools with significant damage.
• The Tennessee Department of Education was working to establish relocation plans for impacted schools.
Sheehan also said that Tennessee had five open shelters as of Tuesday night.
• Centennial Sportsplex, 222 25thAve N., Nashville, Tenn.
• First Baptist Church, 18 South Walnut Ave., Cookeville, Tenn.
• East High School, 110 Gallatin Ave., Nashville, Tenn.
• Victory Baptist Church, 1777 Tate Ln, Mt. Juliet, Tenn.
• Highland Heights Church of Christ, 505 N. Cumberland, Lebanon, Tenn.
– – –