Strong storms tore through Middle Tennessee in the early morning hours Wednesday, leaving many without power and causing damage in several areas, including some tornado damage in Coffee County.
At Coffee County Middle School’s Carden-Jarrell football field, the press box on the visitor’s bleacher’s was blown off and is completely destroyed, leaving only a few blocks, press tables and one door standing. Roof damage was also reported at the visitor-side concession stand, which used to serve as the home side before stadium renovations in the late 1990s.
“Our maintenance department is aware of the situation and we are talking to the insurance company,” said Coffee County Director of Schools Dr. LaDonna McFall, who had yet to survey the damage when contacted by the Times. “We will deal with it through [the insurance company] and get it repaired as soon as we can.”
School maintenance officials were at the stadium Wednesday morning to shut power off to the structures. Power cords were visibly dangling from the ruins of the press box.(Click to see video of press box)
Coffee County Director of Emergency Management Allen Lendley has sent photos to the National Weather Service and weather service surveyors were in town Friday and determined an EF-0 tornado with winds of approximately 80mph did touchdown Wednesday. According to NWS, the tornado tracked for approximately five miles after starting near Coffee County Middle School.
“We sent pictures in and they are looking back at the radar as well,” said Lendley, who also reported some downed trees and damage to a home on
Walker Street in Manchester. The home had the metal roof blown off and a tree snapped in two in the yard.
Three tornado warnings were issued for Coffee County that covered nearly two hours Wednesday morning between 4:16 and 6:15 a.m. Two severe thunderstorm warnings were also issued by the National Weather Service.
Further north of Coffee County, officials confirmed that a EF2 tornado with peak wind speeds of 115 mph touched down in Mount Juliet, Tenn.. No serious injuries were reported there, though the path of damage was about 150 yards wide, including homes, a warehouse and an automotive business.
One person was killed in Nashville when wind uprooted a large tree and blew it onto a storage shed where a man had taken shelter in the Bordeaux area. Police did not immediately release the man’s name.
Injuries have also been reported across the state but most of them minor.
Read more in next week’s ( Feb. 6) print edition of the Manchester Times. Click here to subscribe to the print or online edition of the paper
-The Associated Press contributed to this report