COVINGTON, Tenn. — Officials spoke in Covington, Tenn. on Sunday to give residents and fellow Tennesseans an update on the status of the town as well as repair and recovery efforts after the town was rocked by storms.
One person was killed in Tipton County in relation to the storms and a total of 28 were injured.
Mayor Jan Hensley said that about one-third of the city is without power, but they have made significant strides to restore services.
The search-and-rescue part of the operation is now over and the city is working on cleanup with hundreds of volunteers, Hensley said.
Initially, the mayor said, Covington had more than 22,000 outages — by Sunday that number was down to 1,500. He said that 15 additional crews have come out to assist, nearly doubling the available workforce they had in the area.
Officials say damage teams are out in the field assessing everything destroyed and crews will be present this week to rate the tornado. They are also working to have power restored to everyone within the county by the end of the week.
Mayor Hensley said that they are trying to restore city services as quickly as possible. Residents are encouraged to put their trash bins out and the garbage crew will be working as best they can.
Richard Griggs, from the Covington Fire Department, said that search and recovery efforts officially stopped Saturday at 6 p.m. There were no additional deaths or injuries reported.
Griggs said that they have six, four-man teams going around the area working on damage assessment. He said they should have the total dollar amount for losses within the next few days.
Sheriff Shannon Beasley spoke next. He said that search and rescue activities are over at this time and that deputies are working with local law enforcement on traffic enforcement and preventing looting.
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Beasley said they have one fatality reported so far and out of respect for the family, they have not released the victim’s name yet. Beasley also said that the city landfill would open on Monday for residents to bring any refuse or debris they may have.
“It was devastating, to say the least. And just know that Tipton County, the sheriff’s office, the county, Covington, and all the entities inside Tipton County, we’re here for you,” Sheriff Shannon Beasley of Tipton County. “We will get through this together one way or the other. We’re not going to leave you behind. We give you that promise.”
Covington Police Chief Turner said that her department is working with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Covington Electric to get power restored as soon as possible. She said they will have rolling roadblocks in order for utility crews to complete their work.