Roane stays out of storm cleanup — for now

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By Cindy Simpson

The head of Roane County’s Office of Emergency Services said it’s not yet clear whether it will be needed for assistance in the wake of a superstorm in the northeast.

“Right now we’re in a coordinating and monitoring phase, kind of waiting until storms pass by to see what they are getting,” said director Howie Rose.

Rose said local officials are having daily operation briefings.

Rose said regions have been put on standby, particularly the regions neighboring those most likely to be affected.

That way, if a call for assistance is made the areas are ready to go.

Roane County is in Region IV, which includes several other southern states.

“They may need ambulance resources or may need emergency operation center staffing assistance,” Rose said.

Rose said other states, including Kentucky and North Carolina of Region 4, have already been asked to activate ambulance strike teams and law enforcement strike teams to send to the areas in need.

Rose said if Virginia needs help, for example, agencies in Northeast Tennessee may be asked to go.

However, if the snow that is expected to come from the storms hits that area harder than expected those agencies may be tied up and agencies such as Roane County’s may have to step up.

Convoys of utility trucks from as far away as Texas crowded the interstates heading north and east in anticipation of the storm over the weekend.

However, both Rockwood Electric Utility and Harriman Utility Board said they were not sending any help for the storm at this time.