Tornado Tears Through Claiborne County

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New Tazewell, Claiborne County (WVLT) – The National Weather Service in Morristown has determined that the damage caused in the Claiborne County area was caused by an EF-1 Tornado. NWS says the tornado had a path that was 12 miles long and 150 yards wide.

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt has been on the scene throughout the day.

The Claiborne County Office of Homeland Security says the damage across the county ranges from a few downed trees to 75 yards across. Here in New Tazewell, all day, people have been digging through the debris, salvaging what they can, but more than anything, they're thankful they're alive.

Four mobile homes flipped off their foundations, several roofs completely ripped off and amongst all the destruction, memories are scattered across the cedar ridge trailer park.

"Most things are just twisted and smashed. It's just nothing to save," says Marcella Moyers.

For hours, people salvage what they can, after what the Claiborne County Office of Homeland Security says appears to be a tornado that tore a path through the park.

"From looks of the tree damage and whatnot, apparently just had one path that went through and that's where most of the damage is," says David Breeding from the Claiborne County Office of Homeland Security.

Residents say there was not warning.

"The next thing I know, you hear a train and he's going 'Oh God' and the whole trailer just takes off, moving and it just flips us and rolled us," Angela Hughes was trapped inside her mobile home when it was thrown from its foundation. "It happened so quick, you don't hear nothing, I mean it was like bam and it was done. No glass breaking, no shattering, no nothing."

And besides the scratch on her face and some clothes, that's all she's left with, nothing.

"That doesn't matter to me," says Angela. "I'm beyond that point. I've got my life and my kids and thank God they wasn't here with me, because they'd both died last night."

"We're just up here trying to do what we can to clean it up and save some things," Marcella says.

Just two homes over, what used to be Marcella Moyers' cousin's home, lays destroyed on its side. "It looks like it may be flipped twice, before it actually landed."

Moyers tries to find anything she can. So far, a pair of glasses and a family picture brings a smile to her face. "You just step back and say 'what do I do next?'"

Seven people were taken to the hospital, six have been treated and released. 52-year-old Martha Maples remains at UT Medical Center with what family members say is a severe concussion and a cracked sternum and back.

The Red Cross and emergency management have been assessing damage all day and say it will be a couple of days before debris is removed.

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