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Emergency Operation Plan activated

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The State of Tennessee has declared a state of emergency due to potentially devastating ice storms in West Tennessee and flooding in Middle and East Tennessee. 

Thursday afternoon, Covington-Tipton County Emergency Management Agency Director Tommy Dunavant activated the agency's emergency operation plan.

"Due to the pending threat of a potential ice storm for our area, we have begun planning for the likelihood of power outages and road closures due to falling trees and limbs," he said.

Dunavant said, aside from the major threat of extended power outages, there may be a high risk of fire hazards to homes with downed power lines.

A longtime firefighter, he remembers the ice storm from two decades ago.

"Back in '94, we had a lot of downed trees. We had fire calls on top of fire calls on top of fire calls. It was a heavy fire danger situation."

The emergency operation plan's activation means the EMA office at the National Guard Armory will open at 6 a.m. Two locations - one at the south fire station in Covington, on Mueller Brass Road, and the other at the Parks and Recreation office on College Street in Munford - will be opened as shelters if needed.

"Depending on the need, other shelters will be opened throughout Tipton County," he added.

Up to 3/4" of ice is expected, he said. Tipton County Public Schools and classes at Dyersburg State Community College were cancelled Friday.

Dunavant encourages residents to be prepared to be without power for a few days and to limit travel.

If you come across downed power lines, do not approach them.

Make sure your emergency supply kits include flashlights, a first aid kit, batteries, a battery-operated radio and food and water to last 72 hours.

Additionally, he encourages residents to be mindful of emergency situations and the personnel who will be responding.

"If it's a non-emergency situation, please call Central Dispatch's non-emergency line at 901-475-4300 and keep the 911 lines open for true life-and-death emergencies."

For more information on closures, please see our list here.

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