Several families were left homeless but no serious injury had been reported Monday night after a reported tornado hit the Alpine area in eastern Union County.
“It’s safe to say upwards of 10 homes were damaged and some are not livable,” Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said. “But it’s dark and a section of Hwy. 9 is still shut. It could be more.”
The unconfirmed tornado hit about 4:30 p.m., near the intersection of Hwy. 9 and CR 174 north of the Alpine Volunteer Fire Department, Union County Emergency Management Director Curt Clayton said.
Evaluating the situation was delayed because nearly all the roads in the area were blocked by downed trees and debris. Power lines were down as well and Sheriff Edwards said it obviously will be some time before all are repaired but most of the roads other than Hwy. 9 were cleared by about 7 p.m.
Clayton said one woman reported a leg injury and an ambulance was called out of caution but the injury was not determined to be serious. Some children who were home alone were picked up and taken to the Alpine Fire Department for safety until family members arrived.
Sheriff Edwards said they were using the fire department as a command post and planned to meet about 8 p.m. Monday to confer and make sure no home had been overlooked.
He added that the Union County Baptist Association was providing food and planned to bring their Soup for the Soul mobile food kitchen to the fire department.
He wasn’t sure how many families would need places to stay but some could stay at the department. “And Jericho Baptist Church nearby has plenty of room.”
“It’s dark and we really won’t know more until tomorrow,” the sheriff said.
The storm apparently originated in that part of the county and moved eastward toward Guntown where more damage was reported. Edwards said he was not aware of any other damage in Union County other than the occasional limb or tree down.
More on storm: Alpine area working to recover from stormAlpine, damage, homeless, Hwy. 9, Jericho, New Albany, storm, tornado, Union County