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Obion hit hard as storm blows through county

Obion hit hard as storm blows through county

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 9:02 pm
By: Chris Menees, Staff Reporter

By CHRIS MENEES
& KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporters
It was a dark and stormy night — again.
The latest wave of severe weather blew through Obion County between 11 p.m. and midnight Monday, bringing high winds, hail and more rainfall to an area already drenched by heavy rains over the last several days.
Obion County Emergency Management director Danny Jowers said the town of Obion appeared to be the hardest hit Monday night.
“They got a pretty good wallop,” he said this morning after assessing local damage.
Jowers said the storm included primarily straight-line winds and the National Weather Service estimated winds around 80 mph at times. He said there was not an abundance of rain with the latest storm, but there was “lots and lots of wind and some hail.”
“There are lots of trees down,” he added.
Officials in Obion said the storm slammed the town around 11 p.m. and within about an hour had caused considerable property damage throughout the community. The roof on the old City Hall building was ripped off by strong winds, which also flipped over and destroyed a residential trailer on 10th Street.
Obion Fire Chief Jamie Evans said this morning he has condemned the old City Hall building, which also had a wall knocked in. He and other firefighters from the town were out until about 6 a.m. today and he said power outages left most of the town in the dark until around 4 a.m.
Evans said Obion received “pretty intense straight-line wind damage,” with the southeast side of the town particularly hard hit. The back side of a house on Obion Avenue was also heavily damaged by strong winds which swept through the town just before midnight.
No injuries were reported, but workers with the Obion Police Department, Obion Public Works Department and Obion Volunteer Fire Department were out in force during the night.
Flood concerns
Jowers said there currently are no problems with flooding in Obion County, but he anticipates there could be problems as the rainfall continues over the next couple of days.
He said local emergency officials are currently on stand-by as they closely monitor the weather situation. He has already been in contact with the American Red Cross and has been talking about the plan in the event of an emergency situation created by flooding in northwest Tennessee.
“We hope we don’t have to use it,” he said.
Obion County was also slammed by severe weather late last Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, with the Samburg and Reelfoot Lake area particularly hard hit during that round. Several trees were snapped off or uprooted at various locations around the lake,  but there were no confirmed reports of any tornadoes in the area.
What’s next?
The forecast for today, tonight and Wednesday again calls for thunderstorms, with the possibility of severe storms with large hail, damaging winds and heavy rain.
The chance of precipitation is 60 percent today and is expected to increase to 90 percent tonight and 100 percent Wednesday. Additional rainfall could bring as much as another half-inch today, another one to two inches tonight and an added one to two inches Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com; and Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by e-mail at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 4.26.11

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