No doubt we’re seeing some back-and-forth weather as Winter slowly transitions into Spring this year, and for the third time in the past two weeks Marion County found itself under the gun with some damaging severe weather; however, this time around the severe weather seemed to really hit us somewhat more unexpectedly than the long-ahead forecasted severe weather earlier this week and at the very first of March.
The reason for this is a cold front, which began pushing through with last night’s storms is gradually bringing some colder weather to our area over the course of today and into the weekend — even with the chance of some snow showers Saturday night into Sunday morning, but that cold front combined with our recent warmer air made all the ingredients fulfill the recipe last night for some severe weather across middle and parts of Eastern Tennessee.
It seems as though much of the damage from around the Tennessee Valley has been reported right here in our own county with reports of hail across the area; specifically on the eastern edge of the county around Nickajack Lake at Haletown (Guild, TN) where our readers sent in a picture of a massive piles of hail and hail-covered yards from what accumulated in last night’s storms. One report in Jasper says hail broke a window in their home last night.
And hail wasn’t the only culprit in the damage either, with Jasper taking the brunt of the storms with wind damage. Trees were down all across downtown Jasper and in several of the town’s subdivisions. Large old trees that stood on the property of Rogers Funeral Home’s Jasper chapel also fell causing minor damage to their property as the storms rolled through. Some trees at nearby homes either fell, lost large limbs, or appeared to fall over exposing their roots as straight-line winds blew through on the leading edge of the storms. In the Orme community, a tree there fell on a house.
South Pittsburg, New Hope, and Kimball also had reports of varying damage, but thankfully no injuries were reported in any of these incidents last night.
With downed trees and limbs and high wind also came multiple power outages across the county. The Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) worked throughout the night to restore power to residents that were affected by outages.
Officials say that at the peak of the outage around 2,300 members without power across their service area, with Marion County being hit the hardest. Most of the power in the area has been restored, but several homes in the county remain without power at this time.
As of 9:30 AM CST, crews were still working to restore power to homes near Shellmound Road and some other locations. SVEC officials say those members still affected should have their power restored by this afternoon as crews continue to repair downed power lines and remove debris causing the damage.
Our team of degreed meteorologists followed and tracked the storms as they moved into area last night and will continue to keep an eye on the weather heading into the weekend.
For now, they say expect sunny and breezy weather for today…cooler air will be noticeable out of the north with highs reaching the upper 50s and low 60s, but the cold air will really settle in tonight with lows dropping into the upper 20s and low 30s by Saturday morning. As the low pressure moves by to the south Saturday we’ll see increasing clouds as highs only make it into the mid-40s. Saturday night into Sunday morning is when things really could get interesting as rain moves in and temps drop into the 30s causing the rain to change over to a wet snow in the overnight.
Accumulation amounts are still very hard to pinpoint right now, but anywhere from a 1/2″ to 1″ is possible in the valley with 1″-3″ possible along the Cumberland Plateau. Those amounts will likely change one way or another as we get closer to the event.
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