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franklin county times

EF-0, microburst hit Franklin

Strong storms over the weekend escalated with National Weather Service-confirmed reports of an EF-0 tornado and a microburst in Franklin County.

Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Director Jody Hitt said the EF-0 came in western Franklin from Mississippi, crossing the state line and affecting Pleasant Site, Pogo and Freedom Hill communities before leaving the ground around Burnout.

According to the NWS report, the tornado snapped and uprooted trees in its path, but Hitt said no major damage was recorded. The 720-yard wide EF-0 was on the ground for just about ten minutes, covering about 5.6 miles, Saturday midafternoon.

In the eastern part of the county, on Highway 43 around Spruce Pine, a microburst of 95 miles per hour winds was recorded. Hitt said about a quarter mile of trees were damaged in this microburst, with multiple trees being snapped and even uprooted. “It’s right there on the edge of forming a tornado,” Hitt explained. But not having quite the right ingredients to form into a tornado, the weather event was formally classified as a microburst.

Hitt warned Franklin Countians to continue to remain weather-aware as conditions are prime for tornadic events through the end of May. NWS is reporting favorably conditions tonight into Thursday morning and Sunday through Monday, so people are encouraged to keep an eye and ear out for weather alerts.

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