Community takes a beating from Mother Nature

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The scene at Fourth and Pine in Jasper serves an an example of the power of Friday morning's storms.
The scene at Fourth and Pine in Jasper serves an an example of the power of Friday morning’s storms.

The Sequatchie Valley community continues to serve as the stage for notable weather events. While not on the scale of a tornado, the early Friday morning high winds and hail may have some Jasper residents may argue on that point. Whereas the damage extends throughout the county sporadically, Jasper appears to have received the heaviest brunt of the damage.

The extent of downed trees on Francis Springs Road on the Jasper side is difficult to ignore

Around 1:00 a.m. on Friday, March 10, the front of a weather cell moved through Marion County. At 12:10 a.m. a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the area. As a reminder of taking such warnings seriously, the front moved through coating some locations in the county with hail. Notable as the hail may be, it appears the most significant damage came from high and straight-line winds.

Marion County Emergency Management Agency Director, Steve Lamb acknowledged he had just “had a very long night” around sunrise on Friday. Not immune from suffering the wrath of mother nature himself, Lamb said, “I’m just now getting back out there now because I didn’t have any power until about 6:30 this morning.”

    In what became a pretty common scene throughout the Jasper area, SVEC crews were out in force repairing downed power lines

Lamb listed some of the known notable damaged areas. “We had a house with a tree down on it in Orme last night. There was minor damage to the house and nobody was hurt. We had another out on, I believe, Hancock Road out by the airport in, or right outside of Jasper. We had a report of a tree down on Second Street.”

Lamb also said the path of the damage in Jasper was very telling for what actually happened from a weather standpoint. “The path of the damage seems to follow from about Second Street down through the Farmer’s Co-op which has some damage reported,” Lamb continued, “We’re being told the stage awning at the fairgrounds has been flattened and then out by Francis Springs Road, there’s a number of trees down by the substation across

from the Highway Department and then on the ridge.” Lamb concluded saying, “Standing on top of the ridge and looking back, you can see the damage and it’s what we would call a classic straight-line wind event.”

The size of the root compared the garage next to it on Pottery Street exhibits the scope of the power of the winds