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Update: More strong storms expected, thousands still without power

staff report • Jul 5, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Weather forecasters say scattered thunderstorms are expected across the region every afternoon and evening through early next week.

And, like Thursday's storms, there's a chance for isolated damaging wind gusts and large hail with some of the storms.

According to a Hazardous Weather Outlook from the National Weather Service, the chance for isolated strong to severe storms is expected to increase significantly Sunday night through Tuesday as a cold front moves into the region.

At 1:15 p.m. Friday Appalachian Power's web site reported 5,160 customers in Sullivan County were still without power while 3,341 customers in Hawkins County had no electricity. Numbers in Scott County, Va., were reported as 2,068.

Check for the most recent outage numbers at the Appalachian Power Web site.

A heat advisory also remains in effect for the region.

Today highs will be in the low- to mid-90s.

There's a 50 percent change of thunderstorms today.

Current radar and weather alerts can be found at the Sullivan County National Weather service Web site.

Area wide alerts and radar can be tracked from the Morristown National Weather Service Web site.



KINGSPORT — Residents of Northcott Drive couldn’t believe what they were seeing Thursday afternoon — a large oak tree ablaze in the middle of a driving thunderstorm.

A lightning strike from a series of severe storms that ripped through Kingsport and Sullivan County was the cause of the smoking tree and dozens of other weather-related messes that kept rescue, fire and power crews busy.

Isaac Webb of Appalachian Power Company reported over 6,875 households were without power as of 7 p.m. in the Kingsport/Sullivan County service region, while more than 1,600 customers in Hawkins County had service knocked out due to the storm.

In Scott County, 2,500 customers had their power interrupted, and Webb anticipated some locations would not get their service restored until Saturday at the earliest.

“A portion of our work and service crews were assisting other teams in Washington and Smyth County, Virginia, following storms earlier in the week. They are now en route back to Kingsport,” said Webb.

American Electric Power (AEP) crews are currently trying to erect new power poles, string power connection lines and other associated chores to help 21,000 customers from Kingsport to Tazewell County get their lights back on, Webb noted. Appalachian Power is a division of AEP.

Officials with the USSSA World Series canceled play for the evening, and teams, parents and coaches were forced out of the stands and into hallways underneath J. Fred Johnson Stadium as the storm swept into Kingsport.

One automobile crash was reported on Interstate 81 due to the flood-like conditions, and traffic was snarled for nearly an hour.

Emergency personnel worked throughout the evening to clear tree limbs and other debris off of numerous roadways.

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