|Monday storms wreak havoc |
|Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 9:56 am |
| FLASH FLOODING – A truck became stranded behind Domino’s Pizza in Martin after Mother Nature dumped nearly three inches of rain within one hour Monday afternoon. The significant weather also dropped hail and lightning caused damage to a downtown building and several trees. |
People in Martin, Latham and the Chestnut Glade communities experienced an unusual bout with Mother Nature Monday afternoon as rain and hail fell from the sky shortly before lunchtime.
It was an early summer storm system that National Weather Service of Memphis meteorologist Marlene Mickelson described as “ubiquitous.”
“There was very warm, humid air in place combined with leftover moisture from the night before that created this type of severe weather system,” Mickelson said Monday afternoon.
Nearly three inches of rain was dumped within one hour. The rainfall created dangerous roadway conditions and left streets, parking lots and ditches overflowing.
The Martin Police Department, Martin Fire Department, Weakley County Municipal Electric System and the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department had exhausted their manpower as lightning strikes, flooding and wind damage sent their personnel into the storm system.
The agencies were called to the scene of a lightning strike that had collapsed a building on Strand Street, near Broadway in downtown Martin. The collapse of the unoccupied building forced power and phone lines to sag creating blocked nearby roadways.
The winds downed trees near the University of Tennessee at Martin and along Church Street in Martin. The Reelfoot Regional Library on North Lindell Street also suffered during the storm as winds blew open the doors and sent hail into the office portion of the building.
Some areas reported pea-sized hail around Martin, while other areas reported up to golf-ball sized hail during the storm.
Traffic was diverted around significantly flooded roadways until the water receded.
The storm system lingered for approximately one hour before moving South-Southwest, something atypical of storm systems.
“There was a 30 percent chance of rain in place and the same applies for tomorrow (Tuesday). This is your typical spring storm season in the South. This system was not associated with any front,” Mickelson added.
The NWS is forecasting a 20 to 30 percent chance of severe weather throughout this week.