Storms started rolling into the Sequatchie Valley this morning just before 5am local time without much fanfare. Only a few “lights of the sky” and one or two claps of thunder. It was still an hour or two before the bulk of the storms packed their punch on the area.
The National Weather Service office in Morristown, TN issued a tornado watch for a broad area of southeast Tennessee a short time later as the storms pushed eastward across the state.
All of East Tennessee, the Cumberland Plateau and southeastern counties of Middle Tennessee were under tornado watches Wednesday morning until 10am ET.
These same thunderstorms we saw were the same storms that caused wind damage and lightning strike damage earlier in the morning hours in Western and Middle Tennessee.
AP reports state that trees were blown down in Middle Tennessee, damaging some houses, blocking roads and causing at least one school system to cancel classes. The Stewart County Schools in the northwest corner of Middle Tennessee closed for Wednesday.
Officials with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) says there have been no reports of deaths or injuries from the storms.
In Nashville, fire officials say a home under construction burned to the ground after it was hit by lightning.
No reports of serious damage have been made in Marion County or neighboring counties at this time.
The storms and the downpour of rain with them were however likely the cause of one interstate snarl Wednesday morning.
Commuters traveling along I-24 Eastbound towards Chattanooga were stalled around 8am CT when a car flipped over around mile marker 173 (between the Georgia state line and Lookout Valley) and blocked a lane of traffic.
Other Interstates in Chattanooga also saw similar slow-downs as the rain wreaked havoc on the Wednesday morning commute.
MarionCountyMessenger.com Staff Meteorologist Robert Frye says the possibility of showers and thunderstorms will continue through the day today and through week’s end. Gradual clearing is expected Friday afternoon and evening, with partly cloudy and warm conditions for Easter weekend.