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Metro Prepares for Ice, Sleet, Snow and Cold Temperatures

March 4, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville residents should brace for ice, snow and dangerous road conditions over the next 24 hours. In anticipation of the winter weather, Metro will activate its Emergency Operations Center at 4 p.m. today.

“Everyone reacted with a great deal of patience, cooperation and calm to the ice storm a couple of weeks ago, and I hope we can all do that again this week,” said Mayor Karl Dean from the Emergency Operations Center. “Thank you to the people of Nashville. You made a challenging situation much easier than it could have been a couple of weeks ago, and I hope you can hang in there again for the next few days.”

The National Weather Service at 6 p.m. will place Nashville under a Winter Storm Warning until noon Thursday. Forecasters are predicting that rain will change to sleet and freezing rain between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. today and transitioning to snow overnight. They predict up to 1/10th of an inch of ice and then 3-4 inches of snow and sleet.

The precipitation is not expected to relent until noon Thursday. Temperatures and sunshine may not combine to provide effective relief to accumulated precipitation until Saturday.

Winds could also reach up to 25 mph, posing a threat to already weakened trees and power lines. High winds could also make visibility extremely difficult with blowing snow.

The anticipated ice and snow could make nighttime driving and the Thursday morning commute dangerous. If the forecast holds, Metro recommends that private employers consider allowing employees to work from home or to have staggered start and stop times to lessen traffic during the normal commute hours. In addition, organizers should evaluate whether events tonight are safe to attend.

Residents should pay special attention to weather and street conditions Wednesday night and Thursday morning as they could be dangerous. Drivers should assess their personal safety and the road conditions where they live before deciding whether to venture forth.

If you don’t need to be out, consider staying home.

Phone Lines

A reminder that residents must dial the “615” area code when calling Metro with non-emergency questions or to report hazards.

Roads

Metro Public Works has crews and equipment prepped and ready for the winter weather. Snow plows are ready, salt supplies have been replenished since the last winter weather system and crews have been placed on 12-hour shifts and will be ready to treat roads the moment precipitation begins to freeze.

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, extension 0.

Cold Temperatures

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.

While Metro believes that there are adequate beds for the homeless, Metro is prepared to open an additional emergency shelter at the Fairgrounds, if necessary.

In addition Flex Team officers with Metro Police’s Central Precinct will be exclusively looking for those who are homeless or have been caught out in the cold through Thursday morning to offer transport to warm shelters.

Since November 12, Metro Police have extended offers of assistance 6,369 times. Of those, 937 offers were accepted.

If anyone sees a homeless person in need of help, call the non-emergency number of Metro Police at (615) 862-8600.

Transit

The Metropolitan Transit Authority expects to run regular routes through tonight. If weather conditions make travel dangerous tomorrow, MTA could limit or cancel services. Riders should become familiar with snow routes, which could be implemented if conditions worsen.

For information on snow routes and to stay up to date on service changes, visit their website, http://www.nashvillemta.org and follow them on social media.

Water

Metro Water Services has crews ready to deal with any water main issues that might arise due to freezing temperatures.

Forecasters have canceled a Flood Watch for the Nashville area as most rivers and streams are not expected to reach action stage, the level at which water managers scrutinize waterways for possible flooding. However, roadways prone to flooding could still see some water.

If you come across a flooded roadway, do not attempt to cross it. Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

For water emergencies and to report water-covered roadways, call Metro Water’s 24-hour emergency hotline at (615) 862-4600.

Community Food Distribution

Families in need can pick up Emergency Food Boxes at several locations. Proof of residence in Davidson County is required.

East Nashville Co-op
807 Main Street
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Olivet Missionary Baptist Church
144 Ewing Drive
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Salvation Army Magness Potter Center
611 Stockell Street
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Goodlettsville Help Center
108 Depot Street
10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Martha O Bryan Center
711 South 7th Street
2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

St Luke’s Community House
5601 New York Avenue
9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church
85 Fairway Drive
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Napier Community Center
73 Fairfield Avenue
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Christian Cooperative Ministry
201 Madison Street
10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Southeast Regional Community Center
5260 Hickory Hollow Pkwy, Suite200
10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Warm Daytime Activities

Metro invites families looking for things to do or people just needing a warm place to city service facilities. Nashville Public Library’s main downtown branch is expected to be open during normal hours. Other branches will determine on a case-by-case basis whether to open, depending upon the road conditions in their part of the county.

The Nashville Farmers’ Market will also be open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Metro Parks’ regional centers on Thursday will be open from 6 a.m.-8:30 p.m. and community centers will be open from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

If extreme weather makes roads impassable, only the Napier and Southeast centers are expected to be open.

These locations can be helpful for warmth and family activities during daytime hours, but please only go to these facilities if you can get there safely by driving, walking or using mass transit.

Power

Winds, ice and snow could lead to downed branches and power lines. If you suffer an outage, please report it to NES as soon as possible by calling (615) 234-0000. If you are in distress because of an outage, call 9-1-1.

Assume any downed line you may come in contact with is a live power line. Do not approach downed lines. Instead call 9-1-1 immediately. Yellow caution tape may be used to block off locations affected by downed power lines. Do not approach those areas and never cross the yellow caution tape.

Check on Neighbors, Pets

It is again critical that residents check on neighbors who are homebound or who have special needs this weekend – particularly those who depend on food delivery or need prescription medicine.

Remember to take care of your pets as temperatures drop. 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 by calling (615) 862-8750 and press 0 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 Schools, Metro Information Technology, Metro Planning/GIS, Nashville Electric Service and Metro Transit Authority.

Metro’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) continues to coordinate Metro departments in real time to keep the community safe during the winter storm.

Media should continue to utilize the Emergency Operations Center Media Line (615) 880-2990 for specific requests.

The NERVE (Nashville Emergency Response Viewing Engine) has been activated in coordination with this EOC activation. This new site will provide information about storm related road closures, any evacuation areas or routes, shelters and relief centers. This also includes a media tab with a Twitter feed and press releases. http://nerve.nashville.gov.