Tree crashes into home, wind rips roof off another in Loudon County

LENOIR CITY (WATE) – Many people in Loudon County spent their Sunday cleaning up debris from Saturday night’s storm.

The National Weather Service says 70 to 80 mph winds ripped through much of the area late Saturday night leaving several downed trees and power lines.

Loudon County EMA Director Daryl Smith responded to a home in Lenoir City that was completely covered by a downed oak tree.

The home is one of many damaged in the storms that ripped through area Saturday night.

“We’re hoping for a declaration of disaster for the state of Tennessee that will allow public assistance grant money to be used to help restore all this and make our citizens whole out here,” said Smith.

Another hard hit area was a neighborhood called Avalon. Wind ripped the roof off of one home and blew pieces of debris into others

“Portions of the decking actually flew across and impaled the roof so a whole was punched in it,” said homeowner Christina Honey.

A few streets down in the same neighborhood Joe Barletta watched as workers repaired damage to his roof.

“I can see I’ve got two holes out of the roof, possibly three,” said Barletta. “My garage door was blocked, we couldn’t get in our out also so they’re working on that now so we can get inside so we can see if there if any water got in or anything like that.”

Smith says there were no injuries reported in the county other than car accidents.

Storm leaves Loudon Co. families with downed trees, power outages
After severe weather, many families in Loudon County woke Sunday to a second storm—of chainsaws.

Among them was Kevin Hewitt and his family. They found themselves directly in the path of the storm that rolled through late Saturday and early Sunday. It felled several trees on their property.

“It’s going to be months to get this cleaned up,” said Hewitt, chainsaw in hand.

The Hewitt family were without power through Sunday, like about 15,000 other people in Loudon County at the peak. At last check, that number had been reduced to 5000 customers still in need.

But Hewitt had another concern – as the winds picked up, he began to worry if their mobile home would hold up.

“So I got my wife and grandson, and crammed them in the bathtub,” said Hewitt.

There, they weathered the storm – as they felt the house move. Hewitt estimates the high winds shifted the trailer 6 inches of its foundation.

“I know it was picked up, you could feel it,” he said.

Luckily, everyone inside was alright – and the large trees fell away from the structure.

Up the road, Hewitt’s mother-in-law Caroll Byrd also lost about a dozen trees – but only one pierced the roof of her home.

“I am thankful that God let them fall that way,” she told WBIR 10News. “And I’m thankful for my family, that they’re all OK.”

But she also was left without electricity, and wondering how long it would take to clear the downed trees.

The Loudon County Utilities Board reminds residents: do not drive over or approach downed power lines. You can report an outage by called 1-844-OUR-LCUB.