NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Sunday’s deadly storms knocked out power for over 130,000 and left a trail of wind damage and destruction across Middle Tennessee. It was an atmospheric phenomenon known as a derecho and the path of wind damage stretched across multiple states.
“The storm system started in southeast Kansas and made it’s way all the way to Middle East Tennessee Sunday Night,” said Krissy Hurley Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Nashville.
While derechos are rare, we do see them here in Middle Tennesse. The last derecho was on June 21 of last year, it also left thousands with damage and no power. Sunday’s derecho was the worst straight-line wind event since the July 13, 2004 derecho.
According to Hurley, certain criteria need to be met for a line of storms to be considered a derecho, “It takes a lot of wind reports, a lot of wind damage, for a long path, over 250 miles is how we consider a derecho.”
Thousands across Middle Tennessee are still without power. Nearly every county in Middle Tennessee experienced wind-damage from Sunday’s storms and Hurley wants Middle Tennesseans to know that straight-line winds can be just as dangerous as a tornado.
“Winds are winds. From a meteorologist’s perspective, it doesn’t matter if it’s 75 mph straight-line winds or 75 mph winds with a tornado. Winds are winds. And when you get straight-line winds that are greater than 70 mph, we get damage.”