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VOL. 39 | NO. 7 | Friday, February 13, 2015

Afternoon winter storm update from Mayor's Office

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More snow and dangerously cold temperatures will threaten Nashville over the next few days, promising to continue to make commutes hazardous and posing serious dangers to anyone caught outside.

Nashville Fire Chief/Director of the Office of Emergency Management Ricky White said rapidly changing conditions are forcing emergency officials to adjust quickly, but that Metro remains ready for the weather to come.

“The next 24 hours, we’re going to get some seriously cold temperatures and now they’ve added some precipitation. That’s not going to help at all,” Chief White said. “Residents need to be thinking about safety not just in the next 24 hours, but through the weekend and even into next week.”

Troubling Forecast

The National Weather Service is now predicting a fast-moving “Alberta clipper” could dump between ½ to one inch of snow in Nashville beginning after midnight and into the Wednesday morning commute. Those conditions could provide a third day where driving is hazardous.

In addition, temperatures are expected over the next few days to drop to dangerous, record or near-record lows, with temperatures on Thursday expected to drop below zero.

By Friday, a second system could bring more snow, followed by heavy rain on Saturday and freezing temperatures again on Sunday.

Briefing Reminder

Mayor Dean and other Metro officials will hold a media briefing at 4 p.m. today at the Emergency Operations Center, 2060 15th Avenue South, to give an update on the city’s response to the severe weather and the outlook for the week.

Roadways

Metro Public Works continues to work around the clock on 12-hour shifts to plow, salt and and clear roadways of ice, slush and downed trees. Cold overnight temperatures decreased the effectiveness of salt treatments, but primary roads have shown signs of improvement, with the help of some sunlight and warmer temperatures.

Even still, icy conditions persist on roadways and interstates. Entire sections of interstates have been shut down due to ice and traffic crashes this morning. And neighborhood streets may be inaccessible due to thick ice.

Metro continues to urge residents and visitors to avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.

The threat of roads refreezing will remain as temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing for several days.  Metro’s winter weather fleets are operating and crews will continue to work on a 24-hour work cycle pending changing conditions.

For more information on Metro Public Works’ winter preparedness operations and for winter weather driving tips, visit:  http://www.nashville.gov/Public-Works/Getting-Around-Nashville/Snow.aspx. Public Works’ hotline for emergency road needs is (615) 862-8750.

Power

Nashville Electric Service has continued to battle small, but constant outages with nearly 50 crews. Anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand homes have been without power over the last several hours. As of 1:00 p.m., NES crews had restored power to all but about 500 homes.

These scattered outages are expected to continue and could increase with additional precipitation.

Residents who lose power and are dependent upon electricity for medical needs should call 911.

Water

Metro Water Services has not had any major incidents, but remains ready to answer water-related emergencies through its 24-hour emergency hotline, (615) 862-4600. They are trained to respond quickly and repair water main breaks, and more than 35 pieces of heavy equipment are available.

The department’s Customer Services Center office located at 1700 Third Ave. N. will be closed today due to the weather.

With temperatures expected to potentially drop below zero this week, Metro Water urges residents to locate their home’s water shutoff valves, in case of an emergency, and leave a pencil-lead-thin stream of water running on any faucets on an exterior wall, and the faucet that is furthest from where your home gets its supply. More tips to protect your home can be found here: http://www.nashville.gov/Portals/0/SiteContent/WaterServices/docs/education/WinterWeatherPrep.pdf

Transit

The Metro Transit Authority has resumed service to major corridors.

This includes the following routes:

  • 3 West End/White Bridge
  • 5 West End/Bellevue
  • 10 Charlotte
  • 12 Nolensville Pike
  • 15 Murfreesboro Pike
  • 23 Dickerson Road
  • 26 Gallatin Pike

A decision will be made later today as to whether other bus routes will resume service. 

More information, including any updates to route openings and closures, can be found at their website, http://www.nashvillemta.org and on social media.

Cold/Snow Patrols

Metro Police and the Office of Emergency Management continue cold and snow patrols, helping anyone in need find shelter from the cold. The city has been working with Nashville Rescue Mission, Room In The Inn and other community partners to make sure our homeless citizens won’t have to face the brutal cold outdoors all night. If anyone sees a homeless person in need of help, call the non-emergency number of Metro Police at 862-8600. The city opened a backup shelter for homeless at the Nashville Fairgrounds’ Vaughn Building at 7 p.m. last night. Some 25 people sheltered there last night. It is expected to be available again tonight.

Since Saturday, Metro Police have made contact with 272 people and transported 84 who were in need of shelter.

In addition, OEM continues snow patrols during the day looking to assist stranded motorists or pedestrians.

Fire/Police Calls

911 calls to fire and police remained below normal Tuesday, thanks in large part to residents who decided not to travel. Fire department personnel have mainly responded to downed power line calls, while police have responded to numerous traffic crashes.

Both agencies appreciate residents’ cooperation in limiting unnecessary trips. This will become increasingly important as temperatures drop to dangerous lows. Fewer vehicles on the road means fewer incidents firefighters and police officers must risk their own personal safety to respond to.

Continue to check on Neighbors, Pets

Residents should continue to checking on neighbors who are homebound or have special needs this week. All pets should be brought indoors if possible. Pets that must remain outdoors should have proper shelter, food and water.

Metro's Community Hotline will continue to be staffed 24 hours a day and can be reached at (615) 862-8750 for all non-emergency, weather-related inquiries, the reporting of hazards and to request assistance. In case of an emergency, residents should call 9-1-1.

Agencies initially activated at the EOC including the following: Metro Office of Emergency Management, Metro Police, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Nashville Fire & EMS, Metro Public Works, Metro Water Services, Nashville Emergency Communications, Metro Information Technology, Metro Planning/GIS, Nashville Electric Service and Metro Transit Authority.

While Metro Government is open and operational, some departments and offices will be on skeleton crews or working remotely.

Metro’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) remains in a partial activation and will likely remain that way until at least Friday. OEM continues to coordinate Metro departments in real time to keep the community safe during the winter storm.

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