Update: The State of Emergency was terminated on Jan. 26, 2013, at 1 p.m. EST.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) said today that another state of emergency has been declared due to "ice and wrecks." A previous state of emergency was declared on Jan. 15 for snow and flooding, but was terminated on Tuesday.
According to TEMA:
This level describes an event or period when a serious emergency has occurred or the situation is deteriorating rapidly, and public warnings are being issued. The Tennessee Emergency Management Plan (TEMP) and the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) are activated at this level in accordance with TCA 58-2-107(b)(2), and this action by law declares a state of emergency. Only key or specifically needed emergency service coordinators are called to duty.
TEMA said, in the event of a power outage, to use caution when running portable generators to avoid buildup of carbon monoxide inside structures. And to never run a generator inside a home.
TEMA said that the TDOT smartway system reports 69 ice or snow covered highways and two "extremely hazardous highways." TEMA said these are the current conditions:
I-24 Multiple wrecks (approx. 20) in Montgomery Co., one lane is now open. Road is a sheet of ice, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol. Kentucky has been alerted to warn drivers heading south about the icy conditions.
On I-40 in Knoxville, there is heavy freezing rain now.
The Tennessee Departments of Safety and Transportation are working with county first responders to clear wrecks and check on motorists.
For highway emergencies, motorists should call *THP (*847) via mobile phone to be connected to the Tennessee Highway Patrol Headquarters nearest their location.
Icing is moving in to East Tennessee and this morning’s weather forecasts increased the ice accumulations to up to .50-inches. Icy conditions will be prevalent in the higher elevations and on the Cumberland Plateau.
There are currently seven (7) emergency shelters open in parts of East TN. There is no one in those shelters yet.
Even Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett was not immune to the icy weather. While riding along in a salt truck, he and the driver slid off the road in South Knox County.
He told the Knoxville News Sentinel, "A big tree stopped us from completely rolling over or it would have been a completely different story." He said everyone is fine.
According to WATE, tomorrow will be sunny with a high temperature in the mid 40s.