JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — Washington County saw heavy damage from storms that swept the Tri-Cities Thursday afternoon.
Heavy wind and rain led residents to seek shelter. Among them was Ed Ritsko who was leading a work crew from Johnson City Heating when the storm hit.
“It blew in the windows and destroyed a lot of the surrounding areas. I mean from Bowmantown to Leesburg it left a path of destruction,” Ritsko told News Channel 11.
The severe conditions caused about 20 people to take shelter in Trailblazer Market at the intersection of Highways 81 and 75.
Eric Davies had come into work at Trailblazer just before the storm hit, close to 3 p.m.
Davies said the gas station lost power for nearly three hours due to the storm, which brought high winds through the valley.
“It sounded like a train coming,” Davies said.
A few miles away, Ritsko was working at a custom-build home.
At first he didn’t think much of the Tornado Warning issued for nearby Greene County, but eventually he led his team to seek shelter in the basement, waiting out the storm in the gun-safe the client was including in his basement.
“I’m pretty brave and macho. I don’t want to go through this again,” Ritsko said.