The National Weather Service in Morristown confirmed that a tornado touched down in Shady Valley on Friday afternoon. A preliminary rating of 'EF-0' was given, which is on the weaker end of the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
However, it was enough to do significant damage to Howard Blevins' home. We asked him how they would be moving forward or rebuilding, and he said "Right now, I think it's a total loss." The roof off his back porch was blown off, and as a result - rain water got into the floors.
Blevins, his wife, and his grandson heard the warning first from WCYB and immediately sought shelter in their bedroom. This proved to be the best spot, as the back of the house faced the brunt of the damage on Friday.
Senior Forecast, Eric Holweg, with the NWS in Morristown said it was the direction of the damage that was key in classifying this as a tornado.
"There's one building that's actually blown westward, whereas the bulk of the damage is blown eastward and even a little northward," says Holweg.
Fortunately, there were no injuries. This is a good opportunity, though, to remind everyone to take these warnings seriously. And that's exactly what Michael Sumner, of the Johnson County EMA, had to say when we spoke with him.
"I think this is a perfect example of why people should have multiple sources of getting weather alerts."
Because the Blevins family took this warning as seriously as they did, they can live to tell their story.
"I just thank the Lord that we're all safe."
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