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High winds causing damage across East TN

7:49 PM, Dec 20, 2012   |    comments
  • A house has its roof blown off in Greene County.
  • Wind flips over a truck in Greene County.
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High, gusty winds are causing some damage in parts of East Tennessee.

In the Great Smoky Mountains, part of Highway 441 (Newfound Gap Rd.) is closed because of downed trees.  The closure starts just past the Sugarlands Visitors Center.

Park officials say they are experiencing winds that average around 66 miles per hour, with some stronger gusts.  They are the strongest wind gusts they have experience in at least three years.  One gust on Cove Mountain was measured at 100 mph--that's comparable to winds in a Category 2 hurricane.  

In Greene County, the sheriff's office reports there are lots of trees down, and they've taken power lines with them, causing some power outages.

In Camp Creek, which was hit by a devastating tornado last year, a roof was blown off at least one house.  Not far away, on Sunnydale Road, a tractor trailer truck was blown over by the winds.  The driver, Douglas McKay, 58, of Greeneville, suffered some minor injuries.  He said the trailer was empty and the wind just toppled it, along with the cab he was riding in.  He was treated and released from a local hospital.

Reports from other counties:

Blount County- trees down in the Foothills area, near Townsend

Cocke County- couple of trees down, nothing major

Cumberland County- trees down earlier in the day, those are for the most part now cleaned up

Monroe County-  trees down, mostly in the Tellico Plains area

Sevier County- a lot of trees down, Pigeon Forge, Spur area, no structural damage

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