NWS Survey Team To Investigate Damage In Robertson County

NWS Survey Team To Investigate Damage In Robertson County

CREATED Feb 21, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A storm survey team was called out to investigate storm damage in Robertson County on Friday morning.

The team from the National Weather Service in Nashville will survey the damage in Cross Plains left behind from severe storms Thursday night. They will then continue north to the Kentucky state line. 

Power lines fell on a car driving on Highway 52 just west of I-65. The driver said the rain was so heavy he didn't know if the lines landed on him or if he ran into the downed pole. No injuries were reported.

A large tree came crashing down across Manchester Avenue in east Nashville, forcing Metro Police to block the roadway. There was a car parked across from the home where the tree stood, and the top branches just brushed the front of that car. Fortunately, power lines for that street were also on the opposite side, so they were not torn down when winds toppled that tree.

The storm produced 94 mph winds around Indian Lake Boulevard in Hendersonville earlier in the evening.

The National Weather Service had their own problems with the storm. Heavy winds at their offices near the radar site in Old Hickory knocked out their Nashville transmitter, causing problems for the automated service for weather radios. They were able to broadcast a live signal instead. 

Thousands of people were without power after winds knocked over power lines. At one point, the Nashville Electric Service reported more then 6,000 customers without power. By 9 p.m. that number was down to 3,600. NES had 26 crews working the outages. At 1 a.m. Friday only 260 customers were without power.

There were also power outages reported in Williamson County near downtown Franklin.

Multiple trees were down on Carters Creek Road at the Williamson-Maury County line. Downed trees also caused problems at the Sussex Downs Apartments in Franklin where several vehicles were hit.

The offices of the Lewis County Herald suffered major damage in Hohenwald. The brick facade was caught by the wind and ripped away from the building. It was believed the damage was caused by straight lined winds.

Several other businesses in downtown Hohenwald had windows knocked out due to large-sized hail.

The greatest threat with the storms was high winds. Gusts up to 50 mph have been reported in Montgomery County.

Behind the front, temperatures will return to near normal levels with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s for the beginning of the weekend.

State officials were helping Tennesseans prepare for severe weather. Tennessee Severe Weather Awareness Week began Sunday and ends Saturday.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, National Weather Service and other supporting groups are using the week to conduct educational activities and drills to help people prevent injuries and deaths from tornadoes, damaging winds, flash floods, lightning and hail.

"We've already experienced multiple rounds of severe winter weather in Tennessee and all indications are we may have an active spring," said TEMA Director James Bassham. "We can't wait until the tornado is upon us to think about how we protect ourselves from it. We have to prepare now."

"Severe weather is most common during the Spring months of March, April and May across Tennessee but it can occur any month of the year." said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tom Johnstone. "It's important for all Tennesseans to pay attention to the weather, have multiple ways to receive severe weather warnings, and have a plan to get underground or to the interior of the lowest level of a well-made structure when warnings are issued."

Residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the difference between a Tornado Watch and Tornado Warning: a Tornado Watch indicates that conditions are right for a tornado to develop; a Tornado Warning indicates a tornado has developed or could develop within minutes.

During a tornado, you should go to a basement or storm cellar, and away from windows at home. If neither is available, find shelter under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a work bench or heavy table and hold on to it. A room in the center of the house is usually safer than the outer rooms.

If at work or school, go to the basement or inside hallway at the lowest level. Avoid auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias or large hallways.

If outdoors, get inside a building, or lie in a ditch or low-lying area. Avoid water-filled ditches. Use arms to protect head and neck and stay low to the ground.

Never try to outrun a tornado. If in a vehicle, get out immediately and take shelter in a nearby building, ditch or low-lying area between the vehicle and tornado.

If in a mobile home, get out and take shelter in a building with a strong foundation or lie in a ditch or low-lying area between the tornado and mobile home.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history.

On April 3 and April 4, 1974, 148 twisters touched down in 13 states, leaving 330 people dead and injuring more than 5,000.

In Tennessee, 50 people died as 28 tornadoes blew through 19 counties in middle and east Tennessee.

For more information about weather awareness week, visit: http://www.tnema.org.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)