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Severe storms dropped hail and heavy rain and packed 60 mph+ winds across Middle Tennessee on Friday morning, triggering severe thunderstorm warnings in several counties.
The storms left a trail of downed trees and powerline, and knocked out power for more than 30,000 region-wide.
The last severe thunderstorm watches and warnings lifted by 1:15 p.m.
The NWS Storm Prediction Center placed most of Middle Tennessee under a slight risk (level 2 of 5) for severe weather for Friday. While a heat advisory is not in place today, highs are expected in the mid-90s, with a heat index in the low 100s, the forecast showed.
Current watches and warnings
A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 2 p.m. for the following counties: Bedford; Cannon; Coffee; Cumberland; De Kalb; Fentress; Giles; Grundy; Lawrence; Lewis; Marshall; Maury; Overton; Putnam; Rutherford; Van Buren; Warren; Wayne; White; Williamson
High winds, downed trees, power outages reported
Spotters in Davidson County, Montgomery County, Robertson County, Williamson County, Wilson County and others reported downed trees and power outages as storms packing 60 mph+ wind gusts moved through Friday morning.
Others reported half-inch sized hail in East Nashville and 2-3 inch sized hail in Wilson County.
Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation reported nearly 14,000 customers were without power as of 10:20 a.m. across Cheatham, Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart and Sumner counties. That number was down to around 8,500 as of noon.
Nashville Electric Service reported more than 20,000 customers without power as of 11:45 a.m. All but 1,200 people had power back as of 7:30 p.m.
Middle Tennessee Electric reported around 2,500 outages in Williamson County as of 10:20 a.m. That grew to more than 6,000 outages as of noon.
Bonnaroo evacuates main stages
The storms pushed into Coffee County midday, where the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is underway. Festival organizers asked attendees to shelter-in-place in anticipation of a severe thunderstorm nearing the grounds around 11:45 a.m.
Concert-goers were asked to evacuate “Centeroo” — home to event main stages — and wait out the storm in each’s campsite vehicle. As the storm approached, organizers instructed festivalgoers via social media to temporarily break down pop-up tents until weather.
Read more about the latest updates from Bonnaroo here.
NWS urges weather awareness
As always, it’s important to have multiple ways to get weather alerts, including cell phone push alerts from local media and weather apps; social media updates; local news coverage; and NOAA weather radios.
NWS recommends having an emergency kit you can quickly grab in case of an emergency. It should include essential supplies like food, water, flashlights, batteries, medicine, extra clothing and shoes, toiletries and even solar-powered chargers for electronic devices.
“If you get separated from family, make sure you have a place to meet or have an out-of-town contact to let know you are OK,” the NWS said.
Learn more about how to prepare for severe weather and make an emergency plan at ready.gov/plan.
Cool(ish) weekend ahead, hot week to follow
Highs will stay in the upper 80s to lower 90s through the weekend, the forecast showed. However, another heat wave will kick off next week, with highs nearing 100 degrees by mid-week.
“Think this week was hot? Psssh. Next week, Mother Nature’s gonna be like, here, hold my beer,” NWS Nashville quipped in a Friday tweet.
Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke
The Nashville Office of Emergency Management warned residents to be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion symptoms include:
- Heavy sweating
If you or someone you know is showing signs if heat exhaustion, act fast and move to a cooler area, loosen clothing, sip cool water and seek medical help if symptoms do not improve.
Keep in mind that heat exhaustion can also lead to heat stroke.
Heat stroke symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness
If you or someone you know is showing signs of heat stroke, call 911 immediately, move to a cooler area, loosen clothing and remove extra layers and cool with water or ice until help arrives.
Tips to keep pets, children, older adults safe in the heat
OEM also provided a few tips on what to do for children, older adults and pets, who are especially vulnerable to the dire effects of heat.
- Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute or if the car is running
- Keep your car locked when you are not in it, so kids don’t gain access
- Create reminders by putting something in the back seat next to your child, such as a briefcase, purse, cell phone or your left shoe
- If you see a child alone in a car, call 911
- Set a calendar reminder on your electronic device to make sure you dropped your child off at daycare; develop a plan so you will be alerted if your child is late or a no-show
People aged 65 years or older do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Older adults should stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, contact your local health department, or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area like city community centers, libraries and other public buildings.
- Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling source when it’s extremely hot outside
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink
- If your doctor limits the amount of fluids you drink or has you on water pills, ask them how much you should drink during hot weather
- Don’t use the stove or oven to cook — it will make you and your house hotter
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down
- Do not engage in very strenuous activities and get plenty of rest
- Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you
You should also pay close attention to your pets during the hot and humid days ahead. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals you should know:
- Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors
- Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot
- Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
- Animals with flat faces, like pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
- Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle
- When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Nashville-area weather radar
Nashville weather forecast
Friday: 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mostly sunny and hot, with a heat index as high as 104. High: 97; Low; 72
Saturday: Sunny. High: 90; Low: 61
Sunday (Juneteenth): Sunny. High: 90; Low 63
Find reporter Rachel Wegner at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @rachelannwegner.