Storm causes damage throughout Chattanooga area

Storm causes damage throughout Chattanooga area

June 23rd, 2018 by Mark Pace in Local Regional News

A tree limb fell onto a parked car in a Republic Parking lot near Ross's Landing after afternoon thunderstorms swept through the region on Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

This story was updated June 23, 2018, at 10:30 p.m. with more information.

A man wheels a bicycle back to a storage area after afternoon thunderstorms swept through the region and blew over part of the setup for the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon on Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

A man wheels a bicycle back to a...

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

UPDATE Sunday, June 24: EPB worked through the night to restore power to customers, and by 11 a.m., only about 200 customers were still experiencing outages, according to a news release.

At the height of the outage, 16,000 homes could have been without power, but EPB's Smart Grid kept the number of lasting outages to about 4,200 by automatically rerouting power around problem areas to prevent outages, the news release states.

UPDATE: EPB reported at around 10 p.m. Saturday that it continues to work to restore power to about 1,500 customers who are still experiencing service outages.

"Chattanooga's Smart Grid prevented lasting outages for about 12,000 other homes and businesses by automatically restoring service," according to the news release. "We encourage our customers to download and use the free myEPB app to report an outage from their smartphones and continually monitor restoration efforts."

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High winds, rain and lightning swept through the Chattanooga region Saturday afternoon, downing wires and trees and blowing through the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon's pop-up village.

About 4,000 EPB customers were left without power. Downed lines were immediately reported on Hixson Pike, Chickamauga Road, South Tuxedo Avenue, South Brooks Avenue, Eagle Drive and Prospect Church Road. EPB reported significant outages in the Harrison, Brainerd and Hixson areas, with moderate and scattered outages throughout the rest of the region. 

Tents, bikes and debris flew through Ross's Landing as organizers attempted to prepare for Sunday's race as lightning struck nearby. 

"The biggest threat was with the straight-line winds for this storm," National Weather Service meteorologist Glenn Carrin said. "I think the lightning was the secondary concern."

By 3 p.m., nearly 100 lightning strikes had hit the ground in both Hamilton and Bradley counties, according to Carrin. That's not unusual for a severe thunderstorm, he said. Significant wind blew through Marion, Hamilton and Bradley counties, with the worst of the storm not straying far from the state line. Wind gusts were recorded up to 40 mph. 

A few strong-to-severe storms are possible Sunday afternoon, as well. Damaging winds are the main threat, with possible hail measuring up to the size of a quarter, according to the National Weather Service. Heavy rainfall could also lead to flash flooding.


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