Storms blew through East Tennessee Thursday, bringing flash flood warnings for Cocke, Greene, Hamblen and Jefferson Counties. However, officials say the weather system that brought the tornado was not even a thunderstorm.
Meteorologist Jeremy Buckles with the National Weather Service confirmed that a survey revealed that there was an EF1 tornado in the community of Oral, along Highway 70, Thursday night.
The tornado had maximum wind speeds of 95 miles per hour and was about 200 yards wide. According to the Buckles, the tornado travelled for about a half a mile. He said the tornado lasted only seconds, but during that time it damaged small structures, garages, removed roofs from some homes.
EF1 tornadoes have wind gusts of 86 to 110 mph, the NWS said on its website.
According to the Buckles, the tornado was a rare occurrence as there have been only five other tornados recorded in the month of August in the area since the records began around 80 years ago. Thursday’s tornado is the sixth tornado on the list, following the last August tornado that happened in Bradley County in 2004.