CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has issued a Level 3 State of Emergency.

The activation was issued after storms slammed Western Tennessee and tornadoes were reported in Middle Tennessee, near Franklin

A Level 5 is considered normal operations, while a Level 1 is a catastrophic disaster.

TEMA describes a Level 3 Alert as: "an event or period when a serious emergency has occurred or the situation is deteriorating rapidly, and public warnings are being issued."

The declaration will allow state officials to begin setting up emergency operations centers and activating the state's emergency management plan.