March 17th saw tornadoes and severe weather over much of the south eastern United States. Many schools in the region were closed due to the possibility of dangerous weather in our area. An estimated 45 million people were under threat of at least marginal severe weather according to the Storm Prediction Center. The threat stretched from the Ohio Valley to Southern Florida. According to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center around 24 Preliminary reports of tornados were filed across five states as storms were being tracked on Wednesday.
Here in Southwest Tennessee, there were flash flood warnings issued as heavy rain lingered over the region. Many lightning strikes were recorded in the area, but no strikes were reported to have cause any power outages or property damage.
No shelters were in need locally as we were spared from the worst of what the storms had to offer. The Selmer Community Center was kept open until 10:00pm in case any need was to arise.
March the 27th began with flooding of low-lying areas. Several roads throughout McNairy county were flooded or washed out. Later in the day several storms made their way through the county. Approximately 11:30 pm the strongest storms struck causing severe damage. At one point nearly the entire county was under a tornado warning. High winds blew down trees and damaged buildings. The most damaged occurred in an area between Selmer and Bethel Springs. Trees and utility poles were brought down causing an estimated 300 people to lose power. An estimated 9 business and 45 homes were damaged in the Selmer area.
Adamsville City Water Department lost power due to lightning causing a disruption in service to its customers. A boil notice was put into effect as a precaution and customers were asked to conserve water until the well pumps could be brought back online. Power was restored in less than 24 hours after the initial outage.
Chainsaws could be heard through many neighborhoods the morning of March 28th. Michelle O Neal found herself unable to leave her driveway due to a mass of pine trees that the winds had toppled over. Fortunately, they had missed her home and cars. Jason Atkins and his wife Sonya arrived and started clearing the debris. “They are true friends and servants” Michelle stated as she carried a bundle of pine limbs to the roadside.
Steve Droke and his wife Sherry Droke watched as crews attempted to remove a tree from their roof. Steve and his dog were relaxing in the living room when the storm hit. Sherry had gone to stay with her sister down the street and take shelter in her basement.
Steve said that the storm hit suddenly with no roaring or train sounds like he had heard people describe from past storms. “I don’t know which one of us made it to the backdoor first, me or my dog.” Said Steve. Steve fumbled around looking for a flashlight so he could get across the street to check on his 91-year-old mother. “I’m fine.” His mother shouted form the porch as he made his way across the street. Her house was not damaged by trees, but she lost several to the wind.
This week’s weather will see chances for rain as well as chances for frost on Thursday and Friday nights.