TEMA UPDATE: Tennessee in state of emergency following tornado outbreak
UPDATE: Damage assessments are ongoing in several Tennessee counties from the overnight severe storms on Thursday, Nov. 30. Counties impacted by the severe weather include: Bedford, Bradley, Coffee, Franklin, Marion, Monroe, McMinn, Polk, and Sequatchie. There are no preliminary damage assessment totals at this time.
The National Weather Service (NWS) says an EF1 tornado touched down in Coffee County with winds around 105 mph. NWS also says an EF2 tornado, with winds from 111 to 135 mph, touched down in McMinn County. Additional NWS storm surveys are ongoing.
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) confirmed two fatalities (husband and wife) in Polk County from the severe weather outbreak. TDOH also reports 12 injuries – 11 in McMinn County and 1 in Hamilton County.
Approximately 7,139 people across multiple counties are without power from the storms.
TEMA has deployed a District Coordinator to the McMinn County command post to support the local emergency management agency. The Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee State Parks, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are assisting with welfare checks in Polk County. THP is also assisting with welfare checks in McMinn County.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has moved into a Level 3 State of Emergency due to the storms in the region.
According to TEMA, at least eight counties in the state experienced a severe weather outbreak Wednesday, with weather spotters reporting tornado touchdowns.
Local officials are conducting damage assessments and the National Weather Service will conduct surveys of the severe weather impact in the counties to confirm tornado touchdowns.
TEMA has deployed district coordinators to assist local officials in Coffee and Polk counties.
The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed the two fatalities in Polk County as a husband and wife from the severe weather outbreak. Injuries have also been reported in Polk County, Marion County, and McMinn County.
Bedford, Bradley Coffee, Franklin, and Sequatchie counties all report structural damage and some power lines downed, no reports of injuries or fatalities.
Marion County: 3 injured and transported. Command post set up at Frank Tate Road, Hwy. 283. Reports of multiple collapsed structures, downed trees and power lines.
Monroe County: Providing ambulance and fire assistance to McMinn County to assist.
McMinn County: Deerfield Estates Community (Athens) on SR 307 has severe damage and crews have accessed the area. Reports of multiple injuries, up to 23 persons, and structural damage to homes. Hamilton County has sent a search and team to McMinn to assist.
Polk County: Significant damage, including a U.S. Post Office.
TEMA is supporting the severe weather situation out of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville and its East Region Coordination Center in Knoxville.