Storm damage minor in Lebanon

Wilson County took a beating early Wednesday morning as a large storm system moved through the area, with at least one tornado confirmed in Mt. Juliet.
Jan 31, 2013
 Photo: Sara McManamy-Johnson

The roof for the now-abandoned Wilson County Livestock Center was partially blown off by straight-line winds early Wednesday morning.


Wilson County took a beating early Wednesday morning as a large storm system moved through the area, with at least one tornado confirmed in Mt. Juliet.
According to Capt. Steve Spencer with the Wilson Emergency Management Agency, Mt. Juliet took the brunt of the damage in Wilson County.
“Most of the damage occurred in that industrial business area [at Lebanon Road and Mt. Juliet Road],” said Spencer.
One of the walls for the Lebanon Road Dollar General Store was blown in; one of the buildings damaged contained third-floor apartments.
“We found and accounted for everybody who lived in those apartments, and my understanding was that they were unharmed,” said Spencer.
Outside Mt. Juliet, damage was mostly found in northeast Wilson County, north of Lebanon.
“There was some damage around the Horn Springs Road area, Cedar Grove Road, Belotes Ferry Road, Canoe Branch, Beasley's Bend and Hartsville Pike, up by the Trousdale County line,” said Spencer. “If you mark that on a map, it’s a straight line from southwest to northeast, and that’s how tornadoes generally track – southwest to northeast.”
According to the National Weather Service, an EF-2 tornado touched down Wednesday at about 3:25 a.m. on Glenwood Drive and traveled about 4 1/2 miles east-northeast before lifting at 3:30 a.m. near Cooks Church Road.
NWS meteorologists estimated the tornado reached wind speeds up to 115 mph.
Spencer said the other damage found in Wilson County was likely due to straight-line winds, and the damage found in Lebanon was relatively minor.
“If the debris looks like it’s aimed in different directions, like the wind was blown from different directions, that gives you a convergence of the path that a circulation would’ve taken,” said Spencer. “Most of the debris we saw in the Lebanon area was laying to the northeast.”
In Lebanon, part of the roof for the Wilson County Livestock Center on Lebanon Road was torn off and blown into the parking lot.
“We had several reports of trees down across the road; we had multiple limbs and trees falling on telephone lines and things like that,” said Spencer. “As far as residential, most of the damage I saw along that path was siding, gutters and flashing blown off; there were some porches that were damaged; there were some carports that were damaged. The homes themselves, I didn’t see anything that was major damage.”
He said some homes had trees on roofs, but none of the roofs were punctured.
While the storm system included fairly heavy rainfall at times, mainly at the front of the band, there were no flooding problems of which Spencer was aware.
“Our amateur radio station was operating during that time, and we were taking spotter reports from trained spotters in the area,” said Spencer.
None of the spotters reported any hail, either.
“We’re very thankful there were no injuries, and everybody was accounted for,” said Spencer. “[The storm] blew the glass out of that Subway [in the Publix shopping center in Mt. Juliet]. Had that Subway been open and it had been 3 p.m. instead of 3 a.m., there would’ve been a lot more injuries.”


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