Fentress County Joins State And Much of Nation In Deep-Freeze

While Fentress County was spared the brunt of a  massive winter storm that dumped more than a foot on much of the midwest, and the Ohio Valley, some areas of the county got up to 6 inches of snow and ice accumulation Sunday night through Monday night.

The storm extended the holiday weekend for area schools and government offices, and caused many local businesses to either close on Monday or curtail their hours of operation, and forced rescheduling of the District basketball tournaments which are now underway.

Local road crews with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Fentress County Highway Department, and the City of Jamestown worked throughout the night Sunday, all day Monday, and Monday night and did a commendable job in keeping the roads passable, despite the freezing rain and sleet which fell for most of the day Monday.

As of noon on Tuesday, nearly all of Tennessee remainsed at a Level III – State of Emergency, with assisting stranded motorists, clearing Interstates and roads, and addressing power outages were top priorities for state agencies.

Although the winter precipitation had moved out of Tennessee by noon Tuesday, the system left behind very cold temperatures, and predictions   of more precipitation and possible snow accumulation of less than one inch on Tuesday night, with temperatures not expected to be  above freezing before the weekend.

Although Fentress County was spared any serious injuries related to the winter storm, there were three weather-related fatalities in the state – one in Knox County and two in Williamson County.

There were some power outages reported in the southern portion of Fentress County due to a ice-laden tree falling across power lines,.  According to a report from TEMA, more than 67,000 customers were without power Tuesday morning across 17 counties, with the highest outages in Bedford, Knox, Coffee and Monroe counties.

All of the Interstates around Middle Tennessee remain hazardous at mid day Tuesday with reports of slow-moving traffic, stranded motorists and lanes closed in many locations.  Roads and bridges remained slick across the state, and secondary roads remained hazardous.

Locally, all the emergency services personnel were put on standby to aid stranded motorists, assist in wellness checks and respond to other areas of need.

With the possibly of more inclement weather predicted for the next few days, the following key measures for winter storm preparedness at home are being provided by the Tennessee Emergency Manage-ment Agency (TEMA).

 •Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.

 •Always read, follow, and save the manufacturer’s operating instructions for your generator.

 •Never use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space, or other enclosed areas. Carbon monoxide fumes are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors. Only use your generator outdoors, away from open windows, vents, or doors that could allow CO fumes inside.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.