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Storm a ‘good drill’ for preparedness, officials say

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Last weekend, an ice storm was expected to result in catastrophic levels of damage to Tipton County, but officials said it was more like a good exercise in preparedness.
“I think it was a good drill for everybody,” said Emergency Management Agency Director Tommy Dunavant.
Dunavant said the National Weather Service was advising an up to an inch of ice resulting from the Friday storm and more from a storm on Saturday, but only an estimated ¼ inch fell Friday and 1/10 fell Saturday.
“We were expecting much worse and we did a lot of preparing and getting everything ready to go,” he said. “With only a quarter inch, we were at that fine line: if there was more on the power lines, we would have had a lot more issues than we did.”
On Thursday, many grocery and convenience stores in Tipton County had empty shelves as residents purchased bread, milk and other necessities in advance of the storm.
Dunavant said that is a sign that many people may not be prepared for emergencies.
“I hope this was a wake-up call to them,” he said. “Hopefully they won’t wait until something happens to prepare themselves.”
He heard a lot of negativity regarding the storm’s predictions and its outcome, but Dunavant said it was a good thing that the area wasn’t devastated as was predicted.
As it was, power outages were minimal and the roads never reached the treacherous point. Below freezing temperatures until Wednesday afternoon meant some surfaces were still covered in ice.
There were no injuries, no fatal accidents and not that many people were out and about during the storm, he said.
Many events planned to take place over the weekend were cancelled or rescheduled. Contingency plans originally moved the Munford Christmas parade from Saturday, Dec. 7 to Monday, Dec. 9 if necessary, but freezing temperatures in the forecast prompted officials to cancel it.
The backlash from social media changed the minds of city officials, however, and the parade is back on and scheduled to take place on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4:30 p.m.
“Whatever it will be, it’ll be,” said mayor Dwayne Cole.
The Covington Christmas parade was moved from Monday, Dec. 9, due to the single-digit temperatures predicted, to Monday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.
Opening weekend of “A Christmas Story” was cancelled. The play will hit the Ruffin stage this weekend, though.

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