Tornado hits Kingston; Clinton damage straight-line winds

June 11, 2014: The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in Kinsgton Tuesday. Signs of damage remain in Clinton after straight-line winds ripped through the town.

(WBIR - Anderson and Roane Counties) The National Weather Service has confirmed the powerful storms that rolled through Kingston on Tuesday included an embedded tornado.

George Mathews with the NWS office in Morristown assessed the damage and said an EF-0 tornado raked the hillside along 3rd Street in Kingston. The winds of an EF-0 tornado are around 65-85 miles per hour.

The NWS said the widespread damage throughout East Tennessee was almost entirely from straight-line winds and down-bursts. Kingston is the only site suspected of sustaining tornado damage.

The signs of powerful storm damage were scattered throughout Clinton on Wednesday. The National Weather Service says straight-line winds estimated at 80 mph packed a destructive punch in the downtown area.

The winds were strong enough to tear the roof and the "P" off the Pass Time Garage sign. Employees at the garage are thankful the only personal injuries were a few bumps and bruises.

"I took a few knocks to the head from debris flying around, but I went to the doctor and am okay," said David Tilley. "You could see the storm rolling in really fast. We had the garage door closed. It was a closed door and just 'bam,' it popped in. Next thing I know I look up and see the roof kind of doing this accordion thing and it just went 'whoosh,' just went flying. I go, 'Oh, this is not good.' I was under that big beam and debris on top of me."

Tilley credits a church van on the lift in the garage for protecting him and a coworker from falling roof debris.

"This van right here, I believe it saved both of our lives. It's a church van and I definitely think it is a miracle," said Tilley.

Tuesday's storm also swept through the historic Market Street area in Clinton and removed a piece of the downtown area's history. Powerful winds ripped the old Hoskins Drug Store neon sign off the front of the building at 333 Market Street.

"It's an old historic sign and an icon on the historic street in Clinton," said Dudley Bostic, co-owner of Hoskins Medical Supply. "We hope we can restore it and we think we can."

Bostic said restoring the sign could cost anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 based on previous quotes. However, she emphasized the sign is not her main concern.

"This is just a small thing. It's a sign. The important thing is nobody got hurt. I'm really thinking about all the people who have lost power, have trees on their houses, and are really dealing with things a lot more difficult than this."


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