East Tennessee prepares for possible severe weather Wednesday night

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2021 is expected to make a stormy exit in East Tennessee with possible thunderstorms and flooding.

LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. — As storms roll in, people across East Tennessee are preparing for more wet weather. That includes officials in Loudon County.

Emergency officials there said they are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best Wednesday evening.

The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office said first responders are on standby for the storm. Mayor Buddy Bradshaw said it’s important to over-prepare because anything could happen. They’re keeping a close eye on the known trouble spots in the area.

“If you do live in one of those low-lying areas, exercise a little extra caution especially in the roadways,” Bradshaw said. “It’s better to be safe than sorry,” he said. 

The year is expected to make a stormy exit in East Tennessee with possible flash flooding and tornadoes. Louden County crews spent the day getting ready.

The sheriff’s office said they are preparing for downed trees, downed electrical lines and power outages in the area.

“As soon as the power goes out, they’re on call. They’ll be out in the middle of it if they need to be,” Bradshaw said. “We are very fortunate to have an EMA department that’s equipped to handle it. We have our drive team which also includes swift water rescue so we’re prepared.”

Loudon County leaders say they will continue to monitor weather briefings and stay in close contact with local EMA Officials.

Bradshaw is also encouraging people who live in the area to steer clear of the roads. If they can’t be avoided, he said people should travel with extreme caution.

“You know, if you see deep water and you can’t see the road, don’t go through that deep water,” he said. “Be safe rather than sorry. But if they do [go into the water,] we’ve got people at the call and ready and if they need help they’ll be there.”

Sharon Hudson, the American Red Cross executive director, said the nonprofit has a free emergency assistance app with disaster relief resources and ways to prepare.

“If you are in a flood area and your neighborhood is prone to flooding, you need to have a plan. A plan would be to make sure you have your cell phone charged, all the things that you would need,” she said. 

To learn more about the American Red Cross and the emergency resources they offer, click here.

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