Severe storms leave a trail of damage in McMinn County

Severe storms leave a trail of damage in McMinn County

Posted:
Severe storms moved through portions of East Tennessee overnight sparking several tornado warnings. McMinn County bore the brunt of that damage. Severe storms moved through portions of East Tennessee overnight sparking several tornado warnings. McMinn County bore the brunt of that damage.
Englewood was among the hardest hit communities. Trees not only landed on power lines, but homes as well. The wind even ripped a railroad crossing gate downtown. Englewood was among the hardest hit communities. Trees not only landed on power lines, but homes as well. The wind even ripped a railroad crossing gate downtown.
By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

ENGLEWOOD (WATE) - Severe storms moved through portions of East Tennessee overnight sparking several tornado warnings. While there have been no confirmed tornadoes, there were several reports of damage.

McMinn County bore the brunt of that damage.

Aaron Lee has lived on his Englewood dairy farm all his life, but says he's never heard a storm like the one that came through Monday night.

"The whole house just started shaking and it sounded like glass was breaking and curled under the basement as far as we could get," said Lee.

His house was okay, but the high winds blew the roof off an equipment barn and threw it into a nearby field. Luckily, none of the tractors inside were damaged.

"I thought I would come out and it would be a total disaster," said Lee.

So many trees and lines were down throughout McMinn County that the school district decided to cancel classes for the day.

Englewood was among the hardest hit communities. Trees not only landed on power lines, but homes as well. The wind even ripped a railroad crossing gate downtown.

It also knocked down two tents that were set up for an upcoming event at the Englewood First Baptist Church.

"We do a fundraising yard sale where everyone in the church brings their stuff, and it's how we fund a summer mission trip for our youth and our teenagers," said Pastor Russ Maples.

The wind was so strong it bent the metal poles holding up the tent in half.

"All of a sudden, the wind started blowing really hard, and then everything got still, and when it got still I got scared and I ran down to the basement," said Maples.

The pastor says the tents will be fixed and the event will go on. He, like Aaron Lee, is just glad things weren't any worse than they were.

"I was just praying," said Lee. "We thought the house blew away, but it didn't."

Residents just hope they can clean up the damage they do have before the next round of storms hits.

The National Weather Service is working to determine if it was just strong winds or a tornado that caused the damage. It has a team out surveying the damage along the Interstate 75 corridor from McMinn County all the way to Knox County.

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