Macon County Chronicle

Winter Weather System Hits Macon County

Macon County was hit by freezing fog and freezing drizzle on Sunday, February 14, and according to Regina Flippin, of the Macon County Highway Department, this caused a thin layer of black ice on our county roads.

 

“These are the coldest temperatures we’ve had in a long time, for several days in a row,” said Flippin. “We’ve been out ever since Saturday, off and on, until 2:00 a.m. on Monday morning, February 15. We took a short break and came back out at 9:00 a.m.”

“We’re planning on salting until dark tonight (Monday), and once the snow starts we are going to stop,” said Flippin. “But we will start pushing and salting again at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning. We try to respond to all accidents to help the Macon County Sheriff’s Department with freezing road issues.”

Flippin said the west side of Macon County was hit the hardest on Sunday from around 3 p.m. until midnight. “With temperatures hovering in the 20’s, there were several wrecks Sunday night on county roadways including, Leath Branch Road, Siloam Church Road, Rocky Mound Road, Old Hwy. 52, Long Creek Road, Oakdale Road, Wixtown Road and Cedar Bluff. There were also wrecks reported on Union Camp Road, Spring Creek Road, Scottsville Road and Cold Springs Road, just to name a few.  Emergency workers, including law enforcement, ambulances, county workers, state workers and dispatchers, along with tow truck drivers have been extremely busy.”

“When there is inclement weather like these past few days, please stay at home if at all possible,” stressed Flippin. “When there are multiple accidents it stretches all our emergency crews, and the time wait to get help is extended. So, for the safety of everyone, don’t get out on the roads if you don’t have to.” 

As far as power outages in the area, Macon County remains unphased as of presstime. 

“As of noon on Monday, February 15th, Tri-County Electric has been fortunate to have no weather related outages,” said Tri-County Electric Executive V.P. & General Manager Paul Thompson. “We are expecting severe weather to pass through our service 

area this afternoon. Although our system is designed to handle ¼” of ice accumulation, which is typically between ½” and 1” of freezing rain/sleet/ice, we are hoping the majority of precipitation we receive will be snow. Tri-County Electric is prepared to respond to any outages and our members can call 800-369-2111 anytime to report an outage. We ask everyone to use caution and avoid any downed power lines. I hope everyone will remain safe during this winter weather.”

The following is information released by the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency regarding this week’s winter weather conditions: 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Wintery precipitation will persist throughout the state through Tuesday. West and Middle Tennessee are expected to see the highest snowfall and ice accumulations.
  • The State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville is activated and staffed to monitor weather, road conditions, and address any life safety needs.
  • State of Emergency remains declared and the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan is activated to support the Severe Winter Weather efforts.
  • Freezing rain, sleet, and snow are expected to cause significant impacts to roadways.

CURRENT SITUATION

A major winter storm is currently impacting the Tennessee Valley. This storm system is expected to bring freezing rain, sleet, and snow throughout the state, with the greatest impacts in West and Middle Tennessee. 

Winter Storm Warnings are in affect for most West and Middle Tennessee counties. Winter Weather Advisories and Hazardous Weather Outlooks have also been issued for East Tennessee counties. The storm system will create hazardous travel conditions and will likely cause power outages and tree damage due to significant ice accumulations.

TEMA continues to support local emergency management agencies and is monitoring weather forecasts and road conditions.

There are no reports of weather-related injuries or fatalities.

TDOT

  • Continuing to monitor road conditions across the state. At this time, there are no major issues.
  • Continuing to treat roadways with salt and plowing operations. 
  • TDOT has increased HELP truck patrol in Middle and West Tennessee and has activated a 24-hour maintenance staff. 

POWER OUTAGES & UTILITIES

  • At this time, there are approximately 1,200 customers without power statewide.

SHELTERS & WARMING CENTERS

  • Davidson County - 500 Wedgewood Avenue Nashville, TN
  • Henry County - 400 Harrison Street Paris, TN
  • Madison County - 234 Institute Street, Jackson, TN 
  • Shelby County - 1560 N. Hollywood Street Memphis, TN

TDH

  • The Tennessee Dept. of Health had already planned county health departments to be closed today for President’s Day.
  • Some county health departments have cancelled COVID-19 vaccination activities today because of the wintry weather. 
  • Those scheduled to receive a COVID-19 vaccination today will be contacted by their county health department if their vaccination appointment needs to be rescheduled.
  • Those with a COVID-19 vaccination appointment who are not contacted to reschedule should plan to attend their appointment.

PROTECTIVE ACTIONS/KEY MESSAGES

·         Refrain from driving to keep available streets and roads clear for emergency personnel.

·         Continue to monitor radio and television broadcasts for further weather information and instructions.

·         Charge electronic devices in case of loss of power.

·         If using a space heater, ensure at least 3 feet of distance surrounding the heater. Never plug space heaters into extension cords.

·         Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Do not plug generators into your home’s electrical wiring.

FORECAST

·         Memphis: Snow, possibly mixed with sleet, becoming all snow after 9am. The snow and sleet could be heavy at times. High near 14. Wind chill values as low as -3. North wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow and sleet accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible

·         Nashville: Freezing rain and sleet before 1pm, then snow. High near 28. North wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New ice accumulation of less than a 0.1 of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

·         Knoxville:  A chance of drizzle before 10am, then rain, mainly after 3pm. Patchy fog before 10am. High near 43. North wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible