A powerful line of storms moved through the area on Thursday afternoon, resulting in widespread damage and power outages.
In advance of the storms, the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Carter County and surrounding areas about 11 a.m. Thursday. It was in effect throughout the day until 7 p.m. Storms had developed in southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky and moved southeast into Northeast Tennessee.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the county at 2:54 p.m. It remained in effect until 4:45 p.m. A final update to the warning, issued at 4:10 p.m., noted that the storm had a history of producing destructive winds.
Residents were advised to seek shelter inside a sturdy structure and stay away from windows.
The slow moving storm began moving into the Stoney Creek community, where the first reports of fallen trees and power lines began trickling into local authorities.
One report on Peters Hollow Road stated that a tree had landed on power lines and caught fire. The Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded, but the blaze was out when they arrived.
Other local volunteer fire departments soon began receiving calls of fallen trees, from Weaver Hill Road in the Central community to Bunker Hill Road in Valley Forge. There were also several reports of trees down and structure damage in the Cripple Creek Loop area.
The city of Elizabethton didn’t dodge the bullet. Several trees and power lines fell throughout the city, including along busy East G Street.
The severe thunderstorm brought winds in excess of 60 mph into the county, resulting in numerous power outages. The Elizabethton Electric Department stated on Twitter that all available crews were working on multiple power outages throughout the area.
It was the second time this week that crews had to restore power. On Monday morning, about 2,000 customers from Milligan to Stoney Creek were without out power following a thunderstorm.
Carter County 911 received numerous calls during the storms. Several local fire departments, both city and county volunteer departments, the Elizabethton Police Department, Carter County Sheriff’s Department, Carter County Highway Department and Elizabethton Street Department and the EED spent much of the evening cleaning up the mess left behind by the storm.
As crews cleaned up storm damage, a structure in Stoney Creek was destroyed by fire. Firefighters were called to a structure fire in the Willow Springs area, but were unable to locate and reach the blaze. By the time firefighters found the fire, they learned the path was blocked by a trailer.
Emergency crews soon gained access, but the home was destroyed. The home was located on Hunters Ridge Lane.