KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Storms went through East Tennessee overnight and into early morning Wednesday. TEMA says there was a severe weather outbreak in at least eight counties across the state. The storms caused tornado and thunderstorm warnings, heavy rain and hail.
Tennessee Department of Health confirmed that two people died in the state, a husband and wife in Polk County. There were injuries in Polk, Marion and McMinn counties.
A possible tornado sighting was in Athens, according to the National Weather Service. McMinn County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy tells WATE 6 On Your Side that there was significant damage to homes in Deerfield Estates on SR 307. At least 23 people were injured. Authorities tell WATE one of the people injured was pregnant. A tree fell on her. There is no information on the extent of her injuries.
Viewers shared photos of damage to a Save-A-Lot location in Athens.
McMinn County, Etowah City and Athens school districts are closed for the day. Cleveland State Community College is closed today.
McMinn County Mayor John Gentry is asking volunteers to not coming to the area in order to allow emergency operations to take place. The county says the many areas are too dangerous due to dowmed power lines. Monroe County is providing ambulance and fire assistance to McMinn County.
School buses are preparing to transport displaced residents to a safer area. The Red Cross has created a shelter at Keith Memorial United Methodist Church.
The storm traveled to the Smokies, the area is still battling a wildfire.
McGhee Tyson Airport tweeted all flights are operating on time.
A tornado destoryed the Ocoee Post Office in Benton, Tennessee. Also, the West Polk Fire Department was damaged during the storms in Polk County, according to WTVC. There was several damage to buildings and downed power lines in Bedford, Marion, Bradley, Coffee, Franklin and Sequatchie counties. Three people were injured in Marion County.
Storms were seen across the South. According to the Associated Press, three people in northern Alabama were killed after a possible tornado.