Friday, March 2nd’s threat of Severe Weather prompted Faye Morse, Director of the Cannon County Office of Emergency Management (EMA) to open a Storm Shelter that resulted in 170 plus citizens seeking a safe place and protection from the National Weather Service's prediction of the erratic weather, with possibilities of tornadoes, straight line winds, hail, severe thunderstorms, lightning and flash flooding in our area.
Morse advised, “moments before Friday’s NWS Severe Weather conference call I began to receive calls expressing concerns for their safety and seeking protection from the projected severe weather.”
Morse contacted County Executive Mike Gannon with her concerns and they activated the Emergency Management Basic Operating Plan ESF 4 for Sheltering. She contacted Herb Alsup, Minister of the Woodbury Church of Christ, to request usage of the pre-approved shelter in the lower level of the Church.
Following the approval, a request was made to Cannon County Dispatch to activate the Reverse 911 alert system to inform all citizens of Cannon County that a storm shelter would be opening at noon and would remain open until all storm threats had expired and our citizens felt comfortable returning to their homes.
Morse notified the American Red Cross that a storm shelter had been activated; ARC volunteers quickly delivered 2 cases of canned water and snacks for the shelter opening. Local residents also donated water and drinks throughout the afternoon.
Morse and members of the EMA volunteer agency set up and opened the storm shelter. At 1:00 p.m., as the Cannon County Schools released their students due to weather predictions, the shelter began to receive individuals and families.
By 2:30 p.m., there were 43 shelterees settling in, by 4:30 the numbers had grown to 90 and near the ending of the storm threat for our area it had serviced approximately 170 citizens seeking a safe place from the storm.
February 19th kicked off the Severe Weather Awareness Week; on February 29th the area witnessed how quickly a tornado can take the life of a neighbor (in the DeKalb Co. tornado).
"We do not want to take any chances now that the severe weather season is upon us," Morse said.
If situations warrant or requests are made we will be happy to open a storm shelter. Requests can be made by contacting EMA Director Faye Morse at 615-563-2026 or County Executive Mike Gannon at 615-563-2320.
If you would like information on “How to Prepare for Emergencies” or “Severe Weather” or other questions please contact Faye Morse.