Tri-Cities residents recount terrifying severe storms experiences


JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — Security camera video taken near Chuckey Tennessee in Greene County reveals what some endured Thursday night.

A churning storm cell marched across Northeast Tennessee.

This video, taken near Sneedville, shows the enormity of the storm when the Tornado Warning was issued just after 5 p.m.

“No, I’ve never seen anything like it. Never,” said Duane Parker.

Duane Parkey in Chuckey now has trees down around his house because of the storm born in Hawkins County. 

It quickly headed southeast into Washington and Greene Counties. 

Ominous clouds sometimes appeared to rotate, and sometimes they could be seen dropping toward the ground.

“Went back out. Looked out the window, and then I just seen ping pong ball-sized hail,” Parkey said.

“It was raining so hard at one point you couldn’t really see anything,” said Jonesborough resident Debbie Gosnell. “Then a limb come down across back there.”

In Jonesborough, Debbie Gosnell and her two grandchildren were at home when they heard the wind and watched as tree limbs fell into their yard.

“They was really scared,” Gosnell said. “We threw them in the bathtub with the dog. We thought the tornado was going to hit.”

At one point, more than a thousand BrightRidge customers were without power, one of them being the Gosnell family.

“We don’t have no internet, no power. We are fixing to hook up a generator to keep the refrigerator running and turn on,” Gosnell said.

By 5:50 p.m., tornado warnings expired.

But severe thunderstorm warnings continued until 6:30.

Now comes the clean-up, something that will take a while in some communities.

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