Church, businesses and homes damaged by storm Tullahoma

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TULLAHOMA, Tennessee (WKRN) – An EF-1 tornado with winds of 86 miles per hour hit Moore County near Tullahoma on Monday morning.

The Coffee County Emergency Management Director told News 2 he believed the tornado then passed through Coffee County ending near the old Manchester motorway, damaging around 3 dozen homes in its path .

The roof of Christian Lighthouse Church was ripped off, leaving twisted and mutilated sheets of metal in the parking lot and hanging from electrical cords.

Neighbors alerted Pastor Bobby Watkins of the damage left in his small congregation Monday morning at around 8 a.m.

“It’s a metal roof, but praise God there is another roof underneath, a shingled roof and so that helped save part of the interior structure itself,” Pastor Watkins said. to News 2.

Volunteers worked on the church throughout the day, sticking a tarp over the damaged roof.

Pastor Watkins told News 2 that the pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church offered his congregation a temporary home during reconstruction.

In the heart of Tullahoma, across from Lowe’s, mini barns, metal carports and gazebos have been blown up and stacked on top of each other. The family business “Watson Barn Rental” suffered tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

“I got a report from someone here that something happened and blew up all the barns. We have already cleaned up a lot of it. There were almost a dozen buildings up front here that all stacked on top of each other. One of the carports went from there to the gas station, ”said CEO Timothy Rudolph.

Signs pointing to neighboring businesses were also destroyed along the main road, while neighbors on Ledford Mill Road had to contend with uprooted trees, fallen power lines and roof damage.

“We’ve been on rough roads before and we’re going to get through, we’re going to get through,” Pastor Watkins said.

In a small community like Coffee County, many rely on prayer to rebuild while counting their blessings.

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“I hope everyone who has been affected by this storm is safe, and I’m thankful that the Lord has watched over us, and hey, we’re all here, we’re all in good shape,” Rudolph shrugged. .

The OEM manager said he received two calls from people affected by debris on Monday morning, but both refused transport. He said, luckily, there were no serious injuries.

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