Chattanooga: Severe injuries reported in Harrison area hit by tornado

Chattanooga: Severe injuries reported in Harrison area hit by tornado

March 2nd, 2012 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

The Island Cove Marina on Lake Chickamauga near Harrison sustained heavy damage today.

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

Six to eight people were severely injured in the Short Tail Springs area of Harrison during the storms that pushed through Chattanooga earlier today, authorities say.

About 10 people sustained minor injuries but no fatalities have been reported, said Amy Maxwell, public information officer for Hamilton County Emergency Services.

Emergency personnel are on foot, checking homes for injured people, she said, and the workers confirm at least 20 homes ripped off their foundations. Several other homes have roof damage.

Island Cove Marina on Highway 58 was hit hard, with several houseboats damaged and other boats underwater, Maxwell said.

One tornado touchdown was reported in Harrison, according to the National Weather Service.

Trees were snapped in half and live power lines tangled in the branches and criss-crossed roads.

Forecasters are warning residents that there will be pop-up thunderstorms throughout the day. A cold front is expected to move into the area between 8 and 9 p.m. today, which could spawn dangerous storms and tornadoes.

Ambulances and firetrucks are on the scene at the intersection of Hunter and Short Tail Springs roads.

On Garfield Road near Camp Joy, emergency workers were asking for backboards to be brought in through a back entrance of the camp.

"We're going to have to carry them out," one emergency worker said over the police scanner. "There's no way to get a vehicle up there."

Bayshore Drive is impassable, and there are reports of a gas leak in the area.

There were reports of a person trapped in a house at the end of Snow Hill Road and Savannah Trail.