Forecasts call for little local impact from remnants of Irma

Published 7:15 pm Monday, September 11, 2017

While some rain and winds visited the Tri-Cities on Monday, weather officials are not expecting any major impacts from what was once Hurricane Irma.

Carter County Emergency Management Agency Director Gary Smith told the Elizabethton Star on Monday afternoon that the forecasts are calling for “a little bit of rain and a little bit of wind” for Elizabethton and Carter County. None of the weather advisories or forecasts he has received are calling for any significant impact on the area, Smith added.

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While the center of the storm was still in Georgia on Monday, the outer bands of the system were moving over East Tennessee. The outer bands moved into the middle and western portions of the state as the day progressed.

The storm is currently moving northwest according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The forecast advisory issued by NOAA on Monday evening called for the center of the storm to be in northern Alabama by Tuesday afternoon. The storm is expected to continue moving northwest, with the center arriving in the western portion of Tennessee late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. By that time, according to the NOAA predictions, the storm will have been downgraded from a tropical storm.

Smith said the forecasts he has seen do not expect any additional rain to come to East Tennessee as the storm begins to break up and dissipate.

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville was previously activated to a “State of Emergency” level and remained at that level of operation Monday night with partners from several State of Tennessee departments. According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, the SEOC staff are monitoring Irma’s movement into and through Tennessee, and standing ready to assist local jurisdictions with any life-saving measures or need requests.

With many evacuees from Florida coming to Tennessee to escape the storm, TEMA has been passing along information from Florida officials. In an advisory issued by TEMA on Monday afternoon, Florida officials said the remnants of Irma would continue to affect Florida, Georgia, and Alabama for a few more days with travel expected to be difficult along major Florida Interstate Highways I-10, I-75, and I-95. Evacuees are asked to contact their county government to see if it is safe to return to their homes and to check for current road conditions and information. Evacuees are also encouraged to check for updates from the state.

Five emergency shelters opened by the American Red Cross remain active across the state, including one at University Parkway Baptist Church in Johnson City.