One year ago - storm causes widespread wind damage and two fatalities

Jesse Hostetter - Bristol, TN

While it may not have the ring that "April 27th, 2011" has, "July 8th, 2016" is up there with one of the more significant weather events in this area in the last five to ten years.

On that day, a line of severe thunderstorms raced through southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. These storms left their footprint on the area for days to come, and for some - much longer than that.

I went back and retrieved archived radar imagery from that evening. This was around 5:55 p.m., after the storms caused wind damage in places like Coeburn and Yuma. As they raced through Bristol, Johnson City, Blountville and Elizabethton the story was no different.

In fact, it only got worse. As the storms stretched/became taller on the east side of Holston Mountain, the wind damage only became more widespread and more dangerous.

A hangar at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport was damaged, trees were snapped as if they were pencils, and ultimately - two people lost their lives on Watauga Lake.

Ricky Matthews and I went out the very next day to survey the damage, and at times - couldn't believe what we had seen. Here's what we found that morning.

When events like these happen, we all sit down and think of how we could've done better. Months later, we were privileged to attend a workshop with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg. Here, Ricky and I learned exactly what the folks at each NWS office look for when conducting storm surveys. This helped us out immensely when we surveyed the EF-0 in Shady Valley in May.

Through learning from experience, attending workshops and conducting storm surveys of our own - we're committed to make sure that you are safe in the event of severe weather.

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