Powerful storms knocked down trees and shut off power for tens of thousands of people across East Tennessee Saturday night.
An NWS storm survey team inspected damage in Morgan, Roane, Loudon, Knox and Blount counties. The team said they did not find any evidence of tornado paths, but said radar did show weak rotation at times as the storms passed through.
Winds within the damage areas were estimated at 70 to 80 mph. The survey team determined the area with this wind damage was caused by a derecho, an intense and fast-moving windstorm. Within the derecho, a bow echo surged into counties where the strongest winds were indicated. Wind speeds were equivalent to a strong EF-0 tornado, it was just moving in a straight-line instead of rotating.
Related: Weather Forecast
One of the biggest concerns is power outages. At the height of the storm, KUB says around 50,000 people were in the dark. Those numbers continued to improve Sunday and Monday.
In Knox County, the worst damage is around the Choto Road area. Downed trees and power lines left many cars stranded overnight. A wedding party was also trapped at the venue until Sunday morning when crews were able to clear the roadway.
More than $100 thousand dollars worth of damage was left behind at the Cove at Concord Park. It will likely remained closed for weeks so crews can clear fallen trees and power lines, and repair the damage to structures and park equipment.
In Loudon County, downed trees blocked part of Highway 11 from Ford Rd. into Lenoir City. Crews and nearby neighbors pitched in to help clear the trees, and now part of the road is back open.
Blount County also saw significant damage. No injuries were reported, but the fire department did help three senior citizens who had trouble getting out their homes. The worst area is in Alcoa near Hunt Rd. A large section of the road is expected to be closed until at least Monday afternoon.
Roads were also bad in Blount County because of tree fall.
Crews are out working to clear the roads in Blount County. This is off Lowes Ferry Road in Louisville. pic.twitter.com/jgiJEyYaUt— Kendall Morris (@kendallWBIR) May 28, 2017
Others were trapped by storm damage. Motorist Nate Calzadilla tweeted earlier that he was trapped on a back road near Cherokee Dam for hours before Appalachian Electric could arrive to remove a fallen tree that was hanging off a power line.
Most areas did not any significant hail, except for Cumberland Co. viewers reported softball and apple sized hail in that area.