EF-1 Tornado Damages Cedar Grove Homes
Huntingdon Sonic Awning Felled by Torrential Rain
BY ERNIE SMOTHERS
CEDAR GROVE (July 5) — On July 5 at approximately 7 p.m., a powerful thunderstorm producing fierce cloud-to-ground lightning and a heavy downpour of rain spawned a National Weather Service verified EF-1 tornado (wind speed 86-110 mph) that covered a section of Highway 70 with trees and debris, removed the roof of a home
Photos by Ernie Smothers/The Banner owned by Richard and Carolyn Brooks at 8225 Highway 70 and forced a large spruce tree onto the roof of a home belonging to Mrs. A. P. Fry, 8095 Highway 70.
Following the storm, TDOT crews worked feverishly for approximately two hours to clear tree limbs and debris from a closed section of Highway 70.
At the Brooks residence, a friend said the owners were electing to stay inside the home and protect their belongings until additional law or military personnel arrived to secure the couple’s property.
Brooks is owner / operator of Home Furnishing of Cedarhurst located a short distance from his residence. The business received slight storm damage.
Utilizing a drone to aerially survey and video storm damage to the Brook’s home, barn and equipment shelter, WBBJ-TV 7 meteorologist Tom Meiners said the storm’s powerful winds were responsible for substantial structural damage in the area.
He said, “The damage is definitely the result of a significant wind event. The storm created a definable path through the woods before crossing Highway 70 and impacting homes. We are awaiting verification from the National Weather Service as to the nature of the wind event.”
Examining the heavily-damaged electrical meter box clinging to the Brook residence, Milan Public Utility District electrician Jim Sutcliffe said, “I work a whole lot of storms, and I see a lot of damage caused by straight line winds. However, gauging by the numerous angles that trees fell in the visible path of the storm, I would think that some possible circular wind motion was at play here. Whatever it was, the storm was moving fast and did a sizeable amount of damage while it was here.”
Taking a momentary break from chain-sawing sections of a spruce tree sprawled on top of his grandmother’s home, Robert Tart said, “My grandfather, the late Arville Fry, built this home back in 1937. My family and I had just replaced the roof not long ago.”
He added, “You know, my grandmother always said that spruce trees should never be planted near a house. She was right.”
Robert’s brother, Randy Mc- Minn of Jackson, added, “The storm that came through here uprooted some big oak trees, too. That tells you how strong the winds were. I’m just thankful that we can fix the damage and that no one was hurt inside the home. We were lucky with this one. I wouldn’t be surprised by the trees being bent in so many directions that it was a tornado.”
Huntingdon Sonic Drive-In owner Josh Grant said the damage sustained to his store’s awning was probably due to torrential rains.
He said, “I was in Lexington when the storm hit, but my employees said the volume of rain it contained was unbelievable. I would not doubt that the partial collapse of the awning was due to the weight of rain collecting on the roof of the building.”
Grant added, “I wish our insurance adjuster can make it out today so we can start replacing the damaged section of awning, but I know that is highly-unlikely due to all the damaged homes in our area. They have to take care of those issues first, and I truly understand. We are okay.”
He concluded, “I am thankful that nothing worse happened. We are open and serving the public.”