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Straight line winds rip up dozens of trees in Lawrence County

Storm damage to a home in Leoma after a tree falls on it. (WZTV)

LEOMA, Tenn. -- Lawrence county residents are assessing damage left over, after a severe storm hit this afternoon.

The emergency management says, straight line winds ripped up dozens of trees and other debris scattering it throughout the area.

Today, even the emergency management director’s home and property aren’t immune to damage and trees down. But many residents are just thankful no one got hurt.

Melba Hughes say, “I think people are lucky, real lucky.” Hughes is a Lawrence County resident of 20 years, but Friday it became a first just after noon.

Hughes explains, “Just twisting...they were just twisting...the wind was blowing so hard I’ve never seen the wind blowing so hard here.”

Resident Roy Moore says, “It was quite a surprise when it fell.”

From a tree falling on Moore’s home to Hughes neighbor with disabilities, barely missing this massive tree coming down on his house.

Shelton Barnett says, “If they would’ve been in that room when a tree fell it could’ve injured somebody.” Barnett, the Lawrence County EMA deputy director, says the storms’ straight line winds, hail and rain damage extended about seven miles.

Barnett says, “This is the type of storm that scares me because of the vicinity of the county and the way the radar set and the height the radars look at and all the stuff going on so low it doesn’t produce a signature that a radar can get.”

Moore adds, “My wife and I were sitting in the living room and we’re just so blessed that we weren’t hurt and that anyone else was hurt so the Lord was with us.”

While several neighboring fire and emergency crews did welfare checks and pulled together to pull debris off homes, properties and roads...residents did the same.

Donald Varner, Hughes’ brother-in-law says, “This is my brother and sister-in-law‘s house and I came up here to try to help them clean up the damage.”

Hughes says, “The winds blew so hard for a long time. I’m glad it’s over, glad it’s over.”

While all of this happened today, emergency management says they were also responding to a similar weather event on the state line.

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