A severe storm Thursday night brought high winds to various sections of the Chattanooga area, including Lake Chickamauga where a pontoon boat with 12 people aboard was overturned. Two of those on board, including an adult and a child, were given CPR and rushed to Erlanger and Children's hospitals. The pontoon with several people aboard was completely flipped over as the storm raced across Pump House Slough off Highway 58. A bass boat came to the rescue of some of those knocked off the boat, and other boats and jet skis then came to help.
Stan Crawley, a Bal Harbor resident, who witnessed the incident, said, "It was the fastest storm I've ever seen. It was fine, then two minutes later the storm was here. The waves were three and four feet high. We saw the pontoon boat flip on its top."
Power was out throughout the nearby neighborhoods of Bal Harbor and Murray Hills.
In East Ridge, a large tree limb fell on a car and severely injured two people standing next to it at 124 Douglas Dr. At approximately 7:45 p.m., East Ridge Police and Fire personnel found one man with a badly broken leg and the other suffering from severe injuries. Both were transported to Erlanger Hospital by Puckett EMS. The two had just arrived home and were attempting to get into the home when the limb fell.
Bill Tittle of Hamilton County EMS said 26,000 EPB customers were without power. He said the damage was widespread from one part of the county to the other. "We were very fortunate that many were not injured or killed," he said.
He said there did not appear to be widespread structural damage, but many roads were blocked and trees down.
Mr. Tittle said, "All the fire departments are answering call after call."
At the height of the storm, there were almost 30,000 EPB customers without power.
At 9 p.m., EPB reported 100-200 without power at East Ridge, East Brainerd and Rossville-Fort Oglethorpe, 200-500 without power at Amnicola, South Broad, Hamilton-Gunbarrel, South Broad Street and Lookout Valley. There were over 500 without power at Signal Mountain, Hixson-Northgate, Ooltewah-Collegedale, Harrison-Highway 58, Red Bank-Moccasin Bend, Soddy Daisy, Brainerd, Bakewell-Sale Creek, Shallowford-Tyner and East Chattanooga.
At 9:58 p.m., EPB's Deborah Dwyer said, "EPB is reporting just under 25,000 outages currently in its 600-mile service area. More than 673 locations within the electric power system are affected. Crews are working diligently to restore the power, and more crews are in route from other cities to assist. Early estimates are it may be several days before all power is restored."
At 11:21 p.m., she said, "EPB is reporting 22,608 outages currently in its 600-mile service area. More than 812 locations within the electric power system are affected. Crews are working diligently to restore the power, and more crews are in route from other cities to assist. Early estimates are it may be several days before all power is restored. It may be advisable for the elderly or others in need of power to stay with friends or family tonight. Please remember to stay away from downed power lines and stay safe."
Mr. Tittle said it appeared that tornadoes were not involved, but it was straight-line winds that caused the damage.
A number of trees were toppled near Apison Pike and Jackson Road. One tree landed on a house. Some powerlines were down at Apison and the power off to some homes.
A train was stopped at Apison because of a tree across the tracks. A crew from Tri Community Volunteer Fire Department was able to clear the tracks, allowing the train to proceed.
It was in the same vicinity struck by the April 27, 2011, tornado.
Signal Mountain Mayor Bill Lusk said there were about 30 trees down. There was also a house fire on the mountain.
A tree was across the road at the park on North Palisades Drive in the brow area.
Sandy Lusk said, "It was crazy tonight - all of a sudden the wind kicked up and our patio umbrella blew out of the table and hit the second story of our home. Screens blew off the windows and branches are all over the place. All that chaos from a storm that didn't produce one single drop of rain.".
At the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Brainerd, children attending a program were herded in the basement as the storm, which contained hail, passed through.
Locations where fire and police responded in East Ridge: · 800 BLK Belvoir Ave· Adona Ln. @ Gibson St.· 5915 Wentworth Ave.· 6100 BLK Nottingham Dr.· 700 BLK S. Moore Rd.· 618 Brookfield Ave.· 700 Summitt Ave.· 909 Altamaha St.· 4153 East Ridge Dr. · Ida Bell Ln. @ McHann Dr.· 3800 Fountain Ave.· 900 S. Moore Rd.· Ringgold Rd. @ S. Moore Rd.· Madonna Ave.· 3200 BLK Gleason Dr.· 3600 BLK Mimbro Ln· Mockingbird Dr. @ Harris Hills Ln.· 5300 Dupont St.· 1 Wando Dr.· 4331 Lundy Ln· 124 Douglas Dr.· 800 S. Germantown Rd.