Crews surveyed the damage in the storm on Tuesday at 2:17 p.m. The NWS assessment found that the damage to the Lovell Crossing Apartments was caused by an EF2 tornado with a damage path width of 200 yards.
Maximum wind gusts in the tornado reached approximately 130 mph. EF2 tornadoes are classified as strong and can reach wind speeds of 111 to 135 mph.
According to data released in the NWS’ final assessment, the tornado touched down in Hardin Valley and continued northeast for 3.8 miles. Crews surveying the area said the tornado appeared to have started on Yarnell Road and North Campbell Station Road, continued through the Lovell Crossing apartment complex and homes in the Lovell Cove area before it reached Pellissippi Parkway. The NWS found that the tornado likely dissipated around the intersection of Bob Gray Road and Middlebrook Pike around 2:23 p.m.
A majority of the damage associated with Monday’s storm has been attributed to 60-80 mph straight line winds WATE Meteorologist Ken Weathers explained.
Residents of more than 300 units at the apartment complex were displaced, according to a Knox County spokesperson. Knoxville Area Transit buses are helping lead evacuation efforts.
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On record, there have only been 15 tornadoes in Knox County between 1950 and 2022. These records only include six other tornadoes in the East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Southwest North Carolina during the month of August. The only other EF2 tornado in August recorded by the NWS was in 1964.
Crews are also surveying damage in Loudon and Jefferson counties.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated.