Crews surveyed the damage in the storm on Tuesday. The NWS said in a preliminary assessment that the damage to the Lovell Crossing Apartments was caused by an EF2 tornado with a damage path width of 200 yards.
Maximum wind gusts in the tornado reached approximately 130 mph. No injuries have been reported.
Residents of more than 300 units at the apartment complex were displaced, according to a Knox County spokesperson. Knoxville Area Transit buses are helping lead evacuation efforts.
On record, there have only been 15 tornadoes in Knox County between 1950 and 2022. These records only include six other tornadoes in the East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Southwest North Carolina. The only other EF2 tornado in August recorded by the NWS was in 1964.
A final NWS assessment of damage in Knox County is expected to be released by 5 p.m. Tuesday. Crews are also surveying damage in Loudon and Jefferson counties.