Wind gusts knock down trees, power lines in Greene County

    Fallen tree in Camp Creek

    GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. --- Hurricane force wind gusts reaching as high as 81 mph ripped up trees, and downed power lines, in Greene County, Tenn. on Wednesday.

    Wind speeds picked up around 6:30 a.m., and an initial report from the National Weather Service measured peak wind gusts at 123 mph. That number was revised down to 81 mph later in the afternoon.

    Some residents in Camp Creek say the wind gusts were worse than anything they can remember, since deadly tornadoes ripped through Greene County in 2011.

    "I've had hard winds but nothing like this," David Lamons said, with several large trees down in his yard near Camp Creek Elementary School.

    It was a familiar scene for those in Camp Creek, waking up to downed trees and power lines. But for many, this time was different.

    "I jumped up and ran and look out to see," Edward Ricker said. "I knew it was the tree coming down but I just wanted to see how bad it was."

    There was some relief at Camp Creek Elementary, where 85 mph wind gusts ripped off parts of the school's roof less than a month ago.

    "They've put a higher gauge hurricane rated roof back on the gym, higher gauge steel for the down spouts and the guttering," Principal Dennis Wilds said. "So, for the most part, we're a little better off than we were when it comes to our facilities."

    Nearby the school, wind gusts sent an aluminum car port flying nearly 20 feet through the air.

    Some fear the worst is yet to come, with saturated ground creating a prime scenario for more trees to fall.

    "Yeah, it's going to," Ricker said, looking out at trees wobbling back and forth. "You can see, it's just sitting there rocking."

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