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Wilson County dodges major damage with storms

By Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:01 PM

Wilson County came out of Thursday’s severe storms relatively unscathed, according to officials.

“We did have just a few minor damages,” said Wilson Emergency Management Agency Director Joey Cooper. 

He said there were several spots, particularly around Commerce Road, where roads were blocked.

“Pretty much everything was cleaned up within a four-hour window, as far as the roads were open and all trees were removed from roads,” said Cooper.

He said several residents reported minor roof damages. One home on U.S. 231 near the Rutherford County line had part of the roof peeled back by the wind.

“The tin roof was peeled back a little bit, and [the residents] were getting water inside the house a little bit,” said Cooper. 

He said the strongest reported wind gust in Wilson County was 92 miles per hour. The reading came from a National Weather Service storm spotter on Horn Springs Road who has a weather station at his home.

“I’m sure [the weather service] will go by that, because storm spotters are actually trained and have those weather indicators located throughout the county to measure statistics like that,” said Cooper.

Despite the high winds and torrential rains – nearly an inch for Lebanon, nearly 2 inches for Watertown and an inch for Mt. Juliet – the only tornado warning of the night to impact Wilson County lasted from 8:10 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. and was limited to the northwestern part of the county.

He said three power lines went down in Wilson County, mainly in the Lebanon and North Watertown areas.

Josh Clendenen, communication coordinator for Middle Tennessee Electric, said MTEMC crews responded to 17 storm-related incidents in Wilson County. 

All of those incidents were related to wind, whether directly or by wind knocking trees and tree limbs onto lines, said Clendenon.

He said the outages caused by those incidents affected 174 Wilson County customers, but more customers were affected by brief outages during repairs.

“There were a couple short outages from when we had to perform our switching operation, but those only lasted about 6 minutes,” said Clendenen.

In all, 1812 Wilson County customers experienced outages of some sort Thursday.

Throughout MTEMC’s service area, which includes Wilson, Williamson, Rutherford and Cannon Counties, more than 7,300 customers were impacted by 61 outages.

The largest outage happened at about 8 p.m. and affected more than 2,500 customers.

“Our crews were prepared to restore power as quickly and safely as possible,” said Clendenen.

On average, each customer’s power was restored within about 90 minutes, he said.

Power was restored to all customers before Friday morning.

“All-in-all I think that, yes, it was bad that we had outages, but our crews – they were on the ball,” said Clendenen.

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