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EF-2 damage extensive in MJ

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Damage reports continue to come in from the Mt. Juliet area after a confirmed EF-2 tornado struck the northern part of this city early Tuesday morning.

The confirmation was made after personnel with the National Weather Service Office in Old Hickory and the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency surveyed damage in Mt. Juliet.

The tornado roared through the area, beginning at Glenwood Drive in the Green Hill area at about 3:25 a.m. and headed east-northeast along a path of a little more than 5 miles before lifting near Cooks Lane close to Cooks United Methodist Church, according to a statement from the National Weather Service Office in Old Hickory.

The estimated peak wind for the tornado was 115 mph. An EF-2 tornado is considered a strong one with winds at 111 to 135 mph.

The heaviest damage occurred in a mostly commercial district at the Highway 70/Lebanon Road and Mt. Juliet Road intersection. The NWS statement noted that a warehouse and an automotive business received heavy damage. Several other businesses in the area sustained minor to moderate structural damage.

The Mt. Juliet Little League ball park received significant damage to outbuildings, fences and power poles, the statement said. It added that dozens of trees and power lines were blown down and many other homes received damage along the path of the tornado.

Wilson Post Sports Editor Tommy Bryan, in Mt. Juliet late Tuesday morning, reported the following:

roof damage at Silver Springs Baptist Church on Hwy. 70/Lebanon Road
a small outbuilding at Cedar Creek Sports was destroyed
bleachers at the Mt. Juliet Little League complex were scattered and trees were down everywhere
the top floor of the Lineberry Building, a three-story structure, was ripped to pieces, and another building nearby was also damaged
a building behind Hardees restaurant sustained structural damage
glass was blown out of the windows at AutoZone
Mt. Juliet Animal Clinics sign was obliterated
Advance Auto Parts sustained damage to its roof
a greenhouse covered by plastic at Moss Florist received structural damage

Trees were blown down on the north side of Hwy. 70, Bryan said, and across from the Green Hills Church of Christ.

Crews with Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation were up and down Hwy. 70 in Mt. Juliet replacing power poles, repairing lines and working to get power restored.

In Lebanon, the only major damage reported was at the site of the former Sale Barn on West Main Street which appeared to have some roof damage.

Wilson County Schools officials closed W.A. Wright Elementary, West Elementary and Mt. Juliet Elementary Schools on Tuesday as power was reported out at those facilities.

As the tornado formed, WKRN Channel 2 personnel said NWS meteorologists reported wind at 105 mph at the weather service office in Old Hickory in West Wilson County.

As for damage to the Lineberry Building, described as a mixed-use facility housing a residence and offices, three people were inside at the time the tornado struck but all were able to make it out OK.

Also, a tractor-trailer belonging to M.B.M. was overturned in a parking lot behind Hardees. The truck driver was asleep inside the vehicle but was not injured.

The intersection of Hwy. 70 and Mt. Juliet Road was closed for a time Tuesday morning as emergency and law personnel worked in the area. It was reopened later in the morning.

Check this website for more details as they become available.

From Post staff reports

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