Storm front brings heavy rain, reports of tornadoes, strong winds to East Tennessee


EF-0 tornado hits near Tazewell in Claiborne County

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Strong and gusty winds arrived in Knoxville in front of storms that brought heavy rain, power outages, downed trees and reports of tornadoes.

The strongest winds were in the high elevations of the mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has closed several roads.

A tornado was reported by a ham radio operator between Tazewell and Sneedville around 6:10 p.m. A survey team from the National Weather Service office in Morristown confirmed on Sunday that an EF-0 tornado hit near Tazewell in Claiborne County.

Shortly after 6 p.m., KUB was reporting 8,176 users without power and other electric systems across the region have some outages.

Multiple police departments in the region were reporting downed trees on streets.

Top wind gust speeds on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (WATE)
Dee Jacquemin said a gazebo was blown apart at her house off Pittman CenterRoad in Sevierville. (Photo courtesy of Dee Jacquemin)

Dee Jacquemin said a gazebo was blown apart at her house off Pittman CenterRoad in Sevierville.

Melissa Kirk said she was caught in torrential rain downpour with the wind blowing rain across the roadway on Jacksboro Pike in LaFollette, Tennessee, on Saturday evening, Jan. 11, 2020. .(Photo courtesy of Melissa Kirk)

Melissa Kirk shared the above photo of torrential rainfall and wind in LaFollette on Saturday evening.

Jack Lynch shared a video of the storm approaching in Bearden.

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Wind blew over this “catio” in Fentress County on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Virginia Kirkland)

Virginia Kirkland sent us this photo of how the wind overturned a “catio” at her house in Fentress County. She said the cats were safe in the house when this happened.

There was an 84mph wind gust Saturday around 9 a.m. am on the Cove Mountain Fire Tower (elevation about 4,000 ft) (WATE)

An 84 mph wind gust was recorded Saturday around 9 a.m. on the Cove Mountain Fire Tower (elevation about 4,000 feet). The tower is about 3 miles west-southwest of Gatlinburg.

Here is what it looked like on Pugh Road in Crossville on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Teresa Denton)

Teresa Denton who sent us the photo above from Pugh Road in Crossville said “It’s a mess here!” A barn blew down and limbs were down.

Windy in Knoxville on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 11, 2020) (Photo courtesy of KJ Sylk/Art By KJS)

KJ Sylk sent this shot of what it looked like for much of Saturday afternoon in Knoxville.

Sustained wind speeds around 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. Gusts were much higher. (WATE)

The above graphic shows what wind speeds were around 1 p.m. These are sustained wind speeds; gusts were much higher. See the WATe 6 Storm Team’s latest forecast.


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