Editor’s Note: This story has been update to reflect new information
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has activated a “Level 3 State of Emergency” for Tennessee.
According to the TEMA website, the current activation status is listed as a State of Emergency. The activation is a result of the TVA and local power companies reporting unprecedented demand for power usage due to frigid temperatures.
One storm-related fatality has been reported by the Tennessee Department of Health, a release from TEMA stated. In total, 82,162 power outages have been reported statewide.
Extremely cold temperatures across the region have created unprecedented demands on the power system. Businesses and the public have been asked to reduce electric power use as much as possible without sacrificing safety. TVA and local power companies proactively addressed strain on the grid by temporarily reducing power supplies to certain local areas, which resulted in brief power outages to homes and businesses on a rolling basis.TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan
TEMA provided the following key messages to follow during the State of Emergency:
- Set your thermostat to 68 or lower to reduce energy consumption
- Dress warmly and limit time outdoors
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances
- Follow your local power company for area-specific updates
- Monitor local news for updates and weather forecasts
The Tennessee Department of Human Services and the American Red Cross are reportedly in contact with local officials to support shelters and warming centers, the release states.
The full release from TEMA can be read below.