Midstate prepares for arrival of potential severe weather


Mayor Megan Barry asked Nashville employers to consider sending their workers home early on Wednesday due to the impending severe weather.

The mayor has asked employers to try to stagger departure times so everyone won’t hit the interstates at the same time.

Barry also asked Metro departments to use their own discretion about sending employees home early.

“My first priority is that our citizens are safe,” said Barry in a news release. “We have the best chance of making sure that happens if we manage the combination of severe weather and holiday travel by getting people off the roads and into their homes as quickly as possible.”

The Emergency Operations Center will be partially activated at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

“Right now, our biggest concern is, being that it’s the holiday season, so we may have individuals that are visiting family and friends or doing last minute shopping,” said Capt. William Swann with the Metro Office of Emergency Management. “So we just want people to be very conscious of the weather and just try to make this holiday safe as possible. It’d be nice if they could get all of their shopping and visiting before or after the weather event.”

Agencies initially activated at the EOC include the Office of Emergency Management, Metro Public Works, Metro Police, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Nashville Fire Department, the Metro Emergency Communications Center, Metro Water Services, Nashville Electric Service, Metro Transit Authority, the American Red Cross and the National Weather Service.

“The director of each department of the infrastructure of Nashville will send either themselves or a representative,” Swann said. “All that does is it enables us to be able to handle any situation with one direction.”

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is also prepared for the storms moving in. Crews have chainsaws and other tools handy to remove debris if needed.

“The Traffic Management Center is where all the cameras are, and they’ll be monitoring the roadways during the storm,” said Kathryn Schulte, TDOT spokesperson. “We have our help truck operators who will be running their usual routes during the storm and on-call operators to go. And that’s what these crews are getting ready for, the debris removal if they need to do it.”

Schulte said they hope they won’t have to clear any wrecks or debris, but they are prepared just in case.

Officials said everyone should stay aware, keep their TV on and have a battery-powered radio as a back-up.

At the Nashville International Airport, officials said travelers should expect delays Wednesday night as the weather moves into the area. Travelers should check their flight status online before heading to the airport.

In Benton and Decatur counties, officials are bracing for severe weather.

The Decatur County sheriff told Channel 4 that in times like these, he encourages his deputies to use their fleet of Humvees.

The department has six vehicles for use during emergencies. Inside those vehicles are various pieces of emergency equipment, including chainsaws

Source: NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) Channel 4
Midstate prepares for arrival of potential severe weather

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