NWS: Probable EF-1 Tornado Hit Area

By: Jim Freeman, Reporter
Keith Smith, Photojournalist
By: Jim Freeman, Reporter
Keith Smith, Photojournalist

Barren Creek, Claiborne County (WVLT) - Were getting our first idea of just how extensive the damage is in the Barren Creek area of Claiborne County, that's south of New Tazewell.

The National Weather Service says today, it believes the tornado was an EF-1.

Claiborne County EMA Director David Breeding says the path of damage is about two miles long.

Heading northeast, you can see barns completely ruined, homes with no roofs, some off their foundations and trees twisted like pretzels.

Seven people were injured, but the good news, there were no fatalities.

The national weather service is on the scene assessing damage.

WVLT's Jim Freeman is there as well talking to neighbors.

For some of these folks, there's not much left.

Everyone in the barren creek area lived to see this day, they're also seeing all the destruction left behind.

Uprooted trees, trees twisted and snapped like twigs and homes, missing shingles, water damage and worse.

Mark Honeycutt got a phone call from a friend who said there was a tornado coming toward the nearby boat dock, Cedar Gove Marina, and that's when the Honeycutt family hustled to safety.

"Ran right back in there, me and my wife and daughter huddled together there in that middle bedroom. The whole storm lasted about five minutes. The worst of it lasted about a minute and I literally thought that the house was going to come in around us," Honeycutt says.

Howard Waldron with the National Weather Service is on the scene and at this moment, feels confident that it was an EF-1 tornado that struck.

If that holds true, this will be Claiborne County's second tornado in the last month.

It was just earlier this month the same community had to deal with another tornado.

On April third, a tornado rumbled through the Cedar Ridge Trailer Park.

Claiborne County EMA says that twister hit just about a mile from Thursday's.

Four homes were flipped and several others were damaged.

Seven people were hurt, none of them had life threatening injuries.

If you have damage at your home in Claiborne County from Thursday's storms, you should call 423-626-3000.

Emergency crews want to make sure they know where all the damage is located so they can make a plan for the day.


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