Two twisters hit Hardin County, three injured by storms


A destroyed travel trailer near Morris Chapel

Two tornadoes struck Hardin County on Friday night, destroying 30-40 homes and damaging perhaps 75, the Hardin County Fire Department reports Saturday morning.

"It could have been worse, but it's pretty bad in some places," said Hardin County Fire Chief Melvin Martin, noting that there are only three minor injuries of which officials are aware.

The National Weather Service had been forecasting a serious chance of hazardous weather for days, and multiple tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for Hardin County during the night.

Sixty-seven firefighters were out working until 5 a.m. Some were already at the scene of where the first tornado struck near the Morris Chapel post office around 10 p.m. when the second twister ripped through at about 11:45 p.m., traveling from Mississippi and across portions of Hardin County toward Clifton in Wayne County, he said.

"As far as we know, all the roads are passable," he said, but many areas are without power, particularly on the west side of the Tennessee River in Hardin County.

Martin said the second tornado was probably an EF-2, with winds of 111-135 mph. Local firefighters will be working with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency on a damage assessment to be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for possible financial assistance.

"With such wide damage across the state, there's a pretty good chance" FEMA assistance will be forthcoming, he added.