How close did a tornado come?
Perhaps it was the temperature drop as it came into Tennessee, deep into southern Bradley County Monday night.
According to Anthony Cavalucci of the National Weather Service in Morristown, who was notified by the Atlanta Bureau of the NWS, officials confirmed an EF-1 tornado crossed into Tennessee from Georgia.
Cavalucci said the twister was on the ground for approximately 3.5 miles — its footprint was 100 yards wide as it crossed the state border.
“We got lucky,” said Troy Spence, director of the Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency.
Spence and other officials manned the Emergency Operations Center Monday and Tuesday evenings as the storm began to build and then advance into the region.
A number of states reported significant damage and loss of life.
Just after 11 p.m. Monday, the storm began to build energy.
Cavalucci said a tornado formed east of the city of Cohutta, Ga., and traveled into Bradley County after striking some farm properties and wooded areas.
“It formed and then built to an EF-1, dropped to an EF-0, then gained strength as it traveled into Tennessee. The tornado regained to an EF-1 twister before diminishing and trailed for about a half-mile into Tennessee,” Cavalucci said.
Spence said the tornado tracked along an area of Hughes Lake Road, which travels into Georgia in extreme southern Bradley County.
One home suffered heavy damage and was possibly a total loss, according to Spence.
In 2011, multiple tornadoes ripped through Bradley County, killing nine people and causing damage or total destruction to hundreds of homes. In March 2012, another twister struck the White Oak Valley in the southwestern section of the county, travelled north into the Charleston community and into Polk County.
During the height of Monday and Tuesday’s severe weather awareness, schools and other officials shifted schedules or cancelled events or meetings altogether.
Coincidentally, this is the third consecutive year tornadoes have touched down in Bradley County.
This week should be a little more calm, according to the NWS long-range forecast.