BREAKING: Storms cause damage, power outages in East Tennessee

By: Brian Gregory
By: Brian Gregory

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- About 10,000 customers were without power in Knox County, and other counties reported similar problems after strong storms with high wind gusts came through East Tennessee Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

And what followed was a quick drop in temperatures to some frigid air.

KUB reported almost 10,000 customers out of power in Knox County as of 12:30 a.m., Wednesday morning. Much of that is due to downed power lines in several locations. You can check KUB outages by using the link to the interactive website, below this article.

Volunteer TV crews responded to reports to car accidents and power lines down on Middlebrook Pike, Ball Camp Pike, and I-40 at Watt Road.

All lanes of I-40 were closed westbound at Watt Road, just after 11:00 p.m. after power lines fell across the roadway. Traffic was backed up for miles, according to Volunteer TV News Chief Photographer Peter Simeone who was stuck in the backup at 1:00 a.m. You can see Peter's video on East Tennesse This Morning.

Volunteer TV photographer Pat Middendorf reports arcing power lines on Merchants Road, and power outages in that area of North Knoxville. He also says he shot video of a tree down across Central Avenue Pike around 1:00 a.m.

Volunteer TV News producer Ryan Locker says Knox, Roane, Grainger, Anderson, Blount, and Sevier County dispatchers all report trees down and minor fender benders as a result of the storm, but no one is reporting any major damage or serious injuries.

Volunteer TV reporter Rob Pratt, a Hamblen county resident, reported a power outage in the Oak Hills neighborhood in Morristown affecting about 200 customers, around 1:00 a.m. Pratt also reports that dispatchers were dealing with a tree down across Alpha Valley Home Road. No injuries attributed to the storm have been reported in the county.

In Fentress County, WDEB radio reports trees are down everywhere, and there are scattered power outages. The radio station is also hearing reports of a porch off a mobile home in one community. There were unconfirmed reports of a possible tornado touchdown.

Cocke County remained under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 1:15 a.m.

The front that moves through East Tennessee tonight will cool things off quite a bit.

WVLT Pinpoint 8 Meteorologist Scott Blalock says you should look for highs of 40 to 45 in the valley Wednesday. Higher elevations could see highes that don't make it out of the 30's.

Another wet weather system arrives late Thursday with rain and storms possible again Thursday night. The next round of rain could also bring gusty winds with a slight chance for severe weather.

We do clear out for the weekend with sunny skies and highs of 50 to 55. Morning lows will be 30 to 35. Enjoy the quiet weather this weekend because strong storms are possible again on Monday and Tuesday .

Next time a storm comes, track it on your computer. Click the link below to find out how to download Pinpoint 8 Desktop Weather.

Stay connected to Volunteer TV News and volunteertv.com for continued coverage of this developing news story.


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