Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Tornado cleanup efforts continue

Despite multiple tornadoes roaring through the region on Wednesday, April 27, and continuing through the early hours of Thursday, April 28, Johnny Deakins said all the roads in Washington County were open to emergency traffic before lunchtime on the 28th.
Describing the road clearing to members of the Public Works Committee during the May 10 meeting, the county’s highway superintendent referred to one 1,500-foot stretch of road that was blanketed with 350 fallen trees.
Additional debris still in Cassi Creek will be removed within the next 10 days, according to Deakins, who signed a contract to do so earlier that day with National Resources Conservation Service. An extension may be requested if there are delays in notifying property owners.
Having spent approximately $15,000 per day since the tornadoes, Deakins estimated the total cleanup cost to reach $160,000 for the county.
The National Weather Service recently provided details on the three tornadoes that initially touched down in Greene County before crossing into Washington County.
Ducktown Tornado, the smallest, hit at 9:26 p.m. on April 27 and rated an EF2 on the “Enhanced Fujita” damage scale used to categorize tornadoes.
The Ducktown Tornado traveled for 10 miles and was 150 yards wide, carrying winds estimated at 120 miles per hour. It damaged property in the Ducktown, Blackley Creek and Glendale road areas in northwest Washington County near Fall Branch.
The longest and widest of the tornadoes, named Camp Creek Tornado, struck at 11:56 p.m. on April 27 and traveled for 16 miles. At nearly 1,500 yards wide, the tornado was ranked an EF2 and had estimated wind speeds of 130 miles per hour.
The strongest tornado was categorized as an EF3. Named the Horse Creek Tornado, its path of destruction began at 12:12 a.m. on April 28 and it traveled 14 miles.
At 1,000 yards wide, the tornado had estimated wind speeds of 150 miles per hour.
According to the initial damage assessment in the 88 square miles of affected area, 147 homes were destroyed and 583 homes were damaged.
The Washington County Assessor’s Office is reviewing the damaged areas in order to adjust assessments on structures that have been partially or fully destroyed.
To ensure every parcel with damage is reviewed, affected residents are asked to call the Assessor’s Office at 753-1670 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and provide their name, address and telephone number.
Responding to the unexpected disaster has delayed the first draft of a traffic-calming policy for neighborhoods experiencing problems with speeding motorists.
Prompted by complaints from Ridgeview Meadows residents, the draft policy will be discussed during the June meeting of the Public Works Committee.
Progress was reported on the Furches Drive earth slide that occurred in December 2010.
Deakins said a contract has been signed with Tysinger Hampton & Partners, Inc. in Johnson City for engineering, and a survey is expected to be completed within two weeks.
An additional few weeks to receive quotes for the design of the bank stabilization will be needed before work can begin.
County Attorney John Rambo plans to schedule a meeting with Johnson City officials when the bids are in-hand to discuss sharing the cost of the project.
Deakins estimated the cost to be approximately $150,000.