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Below Freezing Temperatures Persist In Mid-State

Below Freezing Temperatures Persist In Mid-State

CREATED Jan 7, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Temperatures climbed out of the single digits Tuesday afternoon, but below freezing temperatures persisted throughout the mid-state.

Highs across the mid-state were forecasted to hit the teens and low 20s by Tuesday afternoon.

NewsChannel 5 meteorologist Lelan Statom said the Arctic Air will remain with us through Wednesday, which is the next time it will get above the freezing mark. 

Crossville hit -8 degrees Tuesday morning, breaking the old record of -4. They also set a new record low of -2 on Monday at midnight, according to NewsChannel 5 meteorologist Lelan Statom.

In Nashville, it was 2 degrees Tuesday morning; the last time it was that cold was Jan. 24, 2003 when the morning low was 2.

Many people were staying home as subfreezing temperatures forced the closure of everything from schools, to senior centers to Goodwill donation trailers.

The bitter cold and sub-zero wind chills are predicted to continue into Tuesday, but Tennessee canceled its state of emergency Monday afternoon.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeremy Heidt said the agency had received no requests for assistance from the counties, and there had been no major power outages or road blockages. The agency was still advising people to stay indoors.

Officials recommend that residents have an emergency kit with blankets, a flashlight, batteries, warm clothes, and boots in the event you lose power.

Temperatures in the mid-state fell up to 50 degrees from Sunday afternoon to late evening, with Nashville's high reaching only 10 degrees Monday. By Tuesday, some areas saw below zero temperatures. Wind chills made it feel even colder.

Some areas saw up to two inches of snow along the Cumberland Plateau Sunday and Monday, while other areas, including Nashville, saw anywhere from a half inch to an inch.

School Closings

Many school systems were scheduled to go back Monday and Tuesday following winter break, but most, including Metro Nashville Public Schools, pushed back the first official day to Wednesday. 

For a full list of school closings, visit our Snow Watch page.

Road Conditions/Travel Concerns

Monday evening, interstates in Nashville were in good shape with no significant concerns for ice.  However, many secondary roads and rural areas could still cause some problems.  Black ice is still possible on roads not touched by the sun during the day.

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Transportation said crews started work in the Metro Nashville area early in the week. TDOT crews have been out putting brine and salt on the roadways in preparation of icy roadways.

TDOT Spokeswoman Deanna Lambert advised drivers to stay home until Wednesday as the frigid temperatures persist. If you do have to go out, Lambert issued this warning:

"Make sure if you are traveling you absolutely have to get out there this week," she said. "Make sure you have blankets in your car. Make sure you're well prepared with the things you need in case you are stranded."

 Metro Officials said to keep sand and/or kitty litter in your trunk, in case you get stuck in ice.

Check road conditions before leaving by visiting the Tennessee Department of Transportation's SmartWay website www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway or calling the 511 driver information line. TDOT also offers multiple Twitter feeds and a SmartWay mobile app for smartphone users.

If you need help on the road, call *THP (*847) for assistance from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Find road safety tips from THP online at www.tn.gov/safety/10things2know.shtml.

For more tips on preparing for winter weather, visit www.ready.gov/winter-weather.

Highway conditions for Kentucky with links to surrounding states may be found at 511.KY.GOV.

Shelters Open In Mid-State

Meanwhile, cities across the state were taking extra precautions to find shelter for those who had nowhere to go in the cold.

The Nashville Rescue Mission said Monday that they provided shelter to 482 men, 184 single women, 26 mothers and 49 children overnight Sunday. They have brought in mats and additional mattresses to accommodate overflow while the cold temperatures continue.

They also provided meals to approximately 30 passengers who were stranded at the Greyhound bus station next door to the mission.

The Metro Nashville Police Department will also have officers patrolling the streets for those needing assistance in the cold. 

"Room In The Inn" said it sheltered 434 people on Sunday night, the highest number in its 28-year history.

"Last night, the Nashville community stepped up to help neighbors in need as congregations, volunteers, nonprofits and various government agencies offered warmth, shelter and meals to more than 1,200 of our community members," Mayor Karl Dean said. "With forecasts for record-low temperatures tonight, Nashville again will be there to provide even more shelter and assistance. I want to thank all of those who have responded to those in need, showing the compassion of this community."

On Sunday, the Mayor's office, in coordination with the Office of Emergency Management, Fire Department, and Metro Nashville Police Department said they aim to keep people safe, warm and off the streets.

Area non-profit shelters are adding beds and adjusting hours in an effort to help additional people. The Nashville Rescue Mission will remain open during the day and Open Table Nashville will open emergency warming shelters through Tuesday.

Green Cab in Nashville also helped pick up homeless to take them to the shelter if need be. 

Anyone needing assistance is encouraged to call Metro's non-emergency line at 615-862-8600. 

In Clarksville, two warming stations have opened for anyone needing a warm place to sleep. 

First Baptist Church on Madison Street will be open until Wednesday. They will be providing food, cots, blankets and coats for anyone who needs them. Donations of blankets, gloves and socks are needed.

New Providence United Methodist Church at 1317 Fort Campbell Blvd. has also opened as a warming station until 7 a.m. Tuesday. They plan to reopen again at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday until Wednesday morning.

They are also providing food and blankets to anyone in need.

In Crossville, the Knoxville Red Cross opened a shelter at Stone Memorial High School in Cumberland County due to power outages in the area.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)