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Widespread damage reported Monday

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Jewell said about 2,000 of those outages were in Mt. Juliet alone with the rest being spread out in the rest of the county.

The Nashville Area Chapter of the Red Cross, which serves 17 counties, established a shelter around 7 p.m. in the Old Hickory area of West Wilson at Saint Stephen’s Catholic Church on Lebanon Road.

Cynthia Kelley, manager of communications and marketing for the Nashville Red Cross, said some residents of the Laurel Valley Apartments at 912 Old Lebanon Dirt Road ate dinner in the shelter Monday night.

“We offered and set up the shelter when we found out the numbers,” Kelley said Tuesday.

Ten apartments at the complex suffered significant roof damage, and Kelley said one family came and ate at the shelter and left late. The Red Cross closed the shelter early Tuesday morning but is still present in the area to make sure residents have what they need.

“We are working with them and following up today to assess clients’ needs of food, clothing (and other things),” Kelley said.

The National Weather Service reported significant damage to the Cedar Creek Marina on Old Hickory Lake with two boatsheds destroyed and power lines down in the area.

Jewell indicated WEMA personnel at the scene estimated around 100 boats were left beneath the collapsed roofs. Luckily, no tornadoes were confirmed to have touched down in Wilson County, he added.

He said at least two funnel clouds were spotted, one by a WEMA medical unit returning from Summit Medical Center, and another reported by residents in the Big Springs and Highway 70 area.

Jewell also said he and other WEMA personnel carefully monitored a “wall cloud” that traveled over Lebanon, which he said is generally a precursor for a funnel cloud formation.

The storm also affected local school systems and Cumberland University as well, with the Lebanon Special School District and Wilson County Schools holding their buses until about 3:25 p.m. for safety concerns.

Watertown High School had trees and limbs blown over in the main parking lot and the softball field scoreboard at Three Forks Park in Watertown was blown over by strong winds.

At Cumberland University, high winds blew out two windows at Memorial Hall and caused damage to the metal bleachers at the university’s Lindsey Donnel Stadium.

Joseph Gray, vice president of administration at CU, said the bleachers were lifted by the winds and moved about 8 feet off their concrete foundation.

“The wind lifted up the bleachers and moved it a good 8 feet,” Gray said.

He also pointed out this isn’t the first time the bleachers have been moved or damaged by high winds and said he’s concerned about the structural integrity of the bleachers after suffering damage a second time.

Students and faculty on Cumberland’s campus were notified by text message from Gray on Monday afternoon and everyone was able to seek shelter in the basements of buildings on campus.

“Our plans, everything worked perfectly,” said Phillip Carter, executive director of communications for Cumberland.

Gray monitors weather alerts in his office and uses the campuswide text-message alerts to warn students and faculty of impending emergencies. Gray said they called students to seek shelter on two occasions Monday afternoon.

Jewell said no injuries or medical calls were made yesterday that he felt were related to the bad weather.

“In essence it looks like we escaped once again,” he said.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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