Lakeway Area blasted by Spring storm

Severe weather blows across Grainger and Jefferson counties as seen from a home in Blaine, Sunday afternoon.

The storm that blew through Morristown Sunday evening brought quarter-inch-sized hail, wind gusts up to 38 mph and a two-phase drop in temperature, according to Marcy Black, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Morristown.

The high temperature on Sunday was 82. By this morning, the temperature in Morristown had fallen to 41, according to Black. She says the rain and hail cooled afternoon highs considerably, and the cold front that followed the rain contributed significantly to the 41-degree drop.

The high winds interrupted electrical service for 328 customers for about three hours, according to Jody Wigington, general manager of Morristown Utility Systems. He says 306 customers in the King Avenue area. The remaining customers who lost power live in the South Henry Street area, according to Wigington.

Paul Brown, director of the Morristown Public Works Department, says crews were called in around 5 p.m. and remained on the job for the next five areas clearing other fallen trees on Jackson Street, East Andrew Johnson Highway, Highway 25-E at Cherokee Park Road and a toppled sign on West Morris Boulevard.

The winds and power outages were heavier more widely spread in Cocke and Hawkins counties.

Curtis Williamson, electric department manager for Newport Utilities, says the heavy rain, followed by high winds resulted in trees that fell or came to rest on power lines.

“Our system has reached a peak outage count of over 700 customers,” Williamson said.

The hardest-hit areas in Cocke County were the Edwina, Wilton Springs, Cosby, and Jones Cove communities, according to the electric manager. All of the power was restored by this morning.

In Hawkins County, wind gusts reached 50 mph, and hailstones with a diameter up to seven-tenths of an inch were reported, according to Black.