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Storms hit county with vengeance

Johnson County as well as surrounding areas were hit by devastating storms Sunday evening. Although sightings of tornadoes were confirmed in other counties, there has been no official confirmation of funnel clouds in Johnson County yet. That is not to say that no property damages were sustained however. On the contrary, wind, rain and hail pummeled the county with Pleasant Valley and parts of Cold Springs seemingly hardest hit. Uprooted trees, broken limbs and leaves covered the countryside and roadways. Monday morning dawned with many homes and vehicles damaged by the hail and high winds. Broken windows in cars and houses, dents and holes in siding, large gaping holes in roofs from falling trees, and shredded flowers and vegetable gardens stretched for miles, especially along Highway 421 from the edge of Mountain City toward Shady Valley. Residents said their gardens and flowers look like “someone used a weed eater on them.” Some even reported plants being pulled out of the ground by the wind.
As reports continue to come in, volunteers with the American Red Cross are assessing the damage throughout the surrounding area to determine the level of response. They are working in several East Tennessee counties including Johnson, Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Hawkins, Jefferson, Knox, Sullivan, Union and Washington. These teams are also talking with those affected to determine what kind of assistance is needed.
The latest information indicates that approximately 25 homes across 10 East Tennessee counties were destroyed or severely damaged. Many other homes sustained mild or moderate damage. These numbers could increase as disaster assessments continue. Today and the days to come Red Cross volunteers will be working in these communities. Cleanup items are being made available. These items include tarps, gloves, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, etc.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk