A toppled tree lies atop a building on Williams Road in Hawkins County. Jamie Miller photo.
SURGOINSVILLE — Wednesday’s severe storm hit Hawkins County just as hard as the rest of the region, but the only serious damage was isolated to the southwestern section of Surgoinsville near the airport, where eight electric poles were downed.
Hawkins County Emergency Management Agency Director Gary Murrell attributed the downed poles, as well as several fallen trees, to a downburst similar to the two that hit Ross Campground Road, Dickerson Road and Clicktown Road north of Allandale in May.
As of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Murrell was advising all motorists to stay out of Surgoinsville, especially around the area of Williams Road, Williams Lane, and the Hawkins County Airport.
Eight electric poles were blown down, and power was out to a square mile surrounding the airport.
As of 6:30 p.m., Williams Road was closed due to utility workers cutting fallen trees.
The worst damage was at a residence on Williams Road where a large tree well on a garage/storage building. Murrell said the building was destroyed.
“It was those straight line winds again,” said Murrell.
As of 7:30 p.m., however, Murrell reported that all roads in Hawkins County were “passable.”
He said Holston Electric was reporting that only a handful of homes in western Surgoinsville would be without power until Thursday morning.
As of 7:30 p.m., two of the downed power poles had been replaced and Holston Electric was starting on the other six.
“This is unusual for them because they’re used to the power line coming down, but not the pole and all,” Murrell said. “They’ve had to call in more help and bring in more poles, but the power company has put all their resources on this, and they’re working just as hard as they can.”