Shelters opening in Tennessee as Hurricane Irma heads this way

Courtesy: Tennessee Emergency Management Agency

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Hurricane Irma’s current path has its arrival in Tennessee, near Jackson, late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency forecasters say Irma will be a tropical depression by the time it reaches the state with wind gusts up to 55 mph in some locations and from 1” to 3” of rainfall.

The main threats in Tennessee will be high winds downing trees and power lines, causing scattered power outages, and heavy rain resulting in localized, minor flooding.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Irma

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Nashville is activated to “Elevated” status and staffed with partners from State of Tennessee departments.

SEOC staff are monitoring Irma’s movement toward Tennessee and standing ready to assist local jurisdictions with any life-saving measures or need requests.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam issued Executive Order 66 on Saturday suspending state rules to allow:

  1. Medical practitioners licensed in other states to practice in Tennessee in aid to Hurricane Irma evacuees
  2. Pharmacists to dispense a 14-day supply of prescription medications to evacuees
  3. Non-residents to participate in Tennessee Dept. of Health programs for women, infants, and children, and for those with certain chronic conditions

The American Red Cross, along with community partners and independent community partners has opened 5 shelters in Tennessee for evacuees of Hurricane Irma:

  • Christ Lutheran Church, 229 Haywood Lane, Nashville, TN 37211 (Capacity 20, Availability 20, Pet Friendly Shelter)
  • East Brainerd Church of Christ, 7745 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421 (Capacity 200, Availability 169, Special Needs Shelter)
  • First Lutheran Church, 118 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203 (Capacity 20, Availability 20, Pet Friendly Shelter)
  • University Parkway Baptist Church, 219 University Parkway, Johnson City, TN 37604 (Capacity 75, Availability 73)
  • Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, 70 N. Bellevue Boulevard, Memphis, TN 38104 (Capacity 200, Available 97)

The American Red Cross encourages anyone coming to an emergency shelter to bring personal items for each member of their family: prescription and emergency medication, extra clothes, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and important documents.

Find a shelter by visiting or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also puts real time information about the storm and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips.

The Tennessee Department of Tourism asks Hurricane Irma evacuees check at Tennessee Welcome Centers for a list of available hotel and motel accommodations as lodging availability is constantly being updated.

The State of Tennessee has deployed a total of 151 personnel in specialized teams to directly assist local officials and Hurricane Irma survivors in Florida for the next eight-to-14 days.  The teams include: a 40-person nurse strike team; five ambulance strike teams with 57 members; three urban search & rescue teams with 40 personnel; two health incident management teams with 10 personnel; and a four-member team of emergency management officials.

News 2 is partnering with the American Red Cross in Nashville to raise money for victims of hurricane’s Harvey and Irma. 

Monday, Sept. 11 join is for Operation Helping Hand. Phone lines will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Click here for complete coverage of Hurricane Irma.