Clean up continues after EF2 tornado hits West Knox homes, apartment complex

The storms caused severe damage, especially in the Cedar Bluff and Lovell Road areas.
WVLT Drone video from storm damage in West Knox County
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 11:34 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 8, 2023 at 12:10 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knox County saw an EF2 tornado during Monday’s storms, National Weather Service officials told WVLT News Tuesday. It’s the first of that magnitude to touch down in the month of August since at least 1950, when the NWS started keeping track. It touched down from the Yarnell Road to Lovell Road areas.

First tornado to touch down in August in Knox Co. since tornado recordkeeping began in 1950. Ben Cathey has the latest on the damages.

The storms caused severe damage, especially in the Cedar Bluff and Lovell Road areas. Power outages and building damages were reported through the night and into Tuesday.

Officials from the National Weather Service in Morristown surveyed the damage left behind by an EF2 tornado near the Yarnell Road and Lovell Road intersection in west Knox County later in the day on Tuesday.

“Doppler radar can see rotation inside of thunderstorms so we detected rotation inside that storm and where that colocates with damage on the ground we also saw a tornado debris signature which is another feature of our radar it shows how high the debris is thrown in the air, five then thousand feet and we can see some of this debris that is up there,” said Anthony Cavallucci with the National Weather Service.

Cavallucci says an EF2 tornado with winds of 130mph was on the ground for more than three miles and stretched 200 yards wide.

The Lovell Crossing Apartments took the brunt of the damage from the storm.

The storms caused severe damage, especially in the Cedar Bluff and Lovell Road areas.

Lovell Crossing Apartment officials tell WVLT News it could be one week before they know what the next steps are to clean up and repair the buildings that were damaged. Officials say they were waiting for building inspectors to get to the property before they were able to quote just how long people would be without a home.

After assessing damage in Knox County, NWS officials confirmed they were heading to Sevier County and Jefferson County after the damage was reported there following Monday’s storms.

West Knox County is still without power in parts, including the Yarnell Road area after the tornado wiped out trees and power lines.

Previous Coverage: Severe weather causes significant damage across East Tennessee

Officials said windspeeds reached up to 130 miles per hour. The damage from the storm displaced at least 15 people from an apartment complex in Knoxville.

Previous Coverage: At least 15 people displaced by severe weather damage in Knoxville, officials share

People are still experiencing power outages as well, with the Knoxville Utilities Board reporting thousands of customers without power as of Tuesday morning.