Communities assess damage after severe storms, a possible tornado hit Middle Tennessee

Severe thunderstorms and at least one possible tornado brought hail, downed trees, and reports of damaged buildings Thursday night.

Storms pelted Middle Tennessee as wind speeds of up to 65 mph ripped through the region, along with golf ball-sized hail and at least one possible tornado in Wayne County.

The National Weather Service in Nashville meteorologist Dan Hawblitzel told The Tennessean that the agency would conduct surveys in Wayne County and Sumner County to assess if the two areas were struck by tornadoes or straight-line winds.

Minor injuries were reported in Sumner County after a severe storm hit Portland. Emergency workers launched at least two sweeps to check for people affected by the storms. They transported at least one person who was injured and treated several minor injuries.

The storm in Portland ripped the siding off a home, according to a social media user.

Middle Tennessee spent most of Thursday night under a tornado watch, with several counties facing warnings throughout the night, requiring local residents to shelter in place.

Widespread damage was not immediately reported. The Nashville Fire Department responded to a house blown off its foundation by the storms in South Nashville and to cars covered by fallen trees. A historic renovation in East Nashville collapsed due to the storms.

Home damage was reported in some subdivisions in Smyrna.

According to Jeff Hardy, director of Maury County Emergency Management, trees, and some power lines are down, and one home was damaged in Mt. Pleasant.

Tornado Watch: A tornado watch has been issued for the eastern edge of Middle Tennessee through 11 p.m.

A watch typically covers a large area and means tornadoes are possible. A tornado warning has not yet been issued for Middle Tennessee. A warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar and there is imminent danger to life and property. Warnings usually cover much smaller areas. When they are issued, residents should move to interior rooms on the lowest floors of sturdy buildings, and avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect from flying debris.

“Fast-moving storms have the potential of becoming prolific damaging wind producers causing widespread tree damage and power outages,” the NWS said. “In addition, tornadoes and large hail (golf balls or bigger) will be possible. Outdoor events may need additional lead time to enact safety procedures due to fast storm motions and significant impacts.”

With the possibility of high winds, hail, flooding, and strong gusts, it’s important to treat severe thunderstorm warnings just as seriously as tornado warnings, forecasters said.

If you don’t live in a safe place to shelter (like a mobile home), consider spending the afternoon and evening somewhere safer.
Do not venture outside during severe weather.
Nashville-area weather radar

Three-day Nashville forecast

Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms in the morning, with an increased threat for severe weather starting at 1 p.m. Chance of precipitation is 90% in the afternoon and 80% in the evening. High: 75; Low: 49

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a 20% chance of showers late at night. High: 69; Low: 49

Saturday: 50% chance of showers in the morning giving way to partly sunny skies, then an 80% chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 8 p.m. High: 74; Low: 57


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