National Weather Service confirms tornado hits East Tennessee community


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SPEEDWELL, Tennessee — The National Weather Service confirmed on Monday that a tornado hit an East Tennessee community where 10 homes were destroyed.

Media cited the weather service in reporting that an EF-3 tornado with wind speeds of 140 mph touched down Sunday night in the community of Speedwell in Claiborne County.

Communities across East Tennessee began cleaning up Monday after the powerful storms. Authorities say there were no reports of any deaths or injuries from Sunday's storms and the number of power outages continues to decline.

Sullivan County Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Bean told the Kingsport Times-News that the storms also damaged four homes there.

Dean Flener of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency in Nashville said at least seven counties were roughed up.

Speedwell resident Tommy Ellison told the Knoxville News Sentinel that the damage occurred quickly.

"It took me about 30 seconds to get to the basement, and by the time I got there, it was gone," said Ellison as he surveyed the damage to his home near the Claiborne-Campbell county line.

"I looked up and could see daylight. I told my wife, 'Well, there went the roof.'"

At least nine other homes, including that of Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray, were destroyed.

Campbell County Emergency Management Agency Director Jay Muncy said assessment crews were still out in the field.

"We had a few homes damaged, trees down, power lines down, things like that," Muncy said Monday morning.

Storm survey teams also were also sent to check areas of Hawkins and Washington counties where damage was reported.

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