The American Red Cross has opened five shelters in Tennessee ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma.
According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, two shelters are open for evacuees in Nashville and one each in Chattanooga, Johnson City and Memphis. The Knoxville chapter is on standby to open two shelters if they are needed.
In addition, the Tennessee Department of Tourism is providing a list of available hotel and motel availability to visitors at Tennessee Welcome Centers. Tennessee is a destination for some Floridians fleeing the hurricane that made landfall Sunday.
Right now, there are 28 Red Cross volunteers from the Knoxville chapter deployed to respond to Harvey and Irma. Others have their bags packed and are ready to go, according to Executive Director Sharen Hudson.
The State Emergency Operations Center in Nashville is monitoring Irma's movement toward Tennessee and preparing to assist local jurisdictions.
Forecasters expect the storm to be a tropical depression by the time it arrives near Jackson by late Tuesday or early Wednesday, bringing wind gusts up to 55 mph and up to 3 inches of rain.
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