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Historic November tornado hits Gladeville

Jared Felkins • Nov 19, 2017 at 8:11 PM

The first tornado in recorded history to hit Wilson County in November struck Gladeville and significantly damaged a church and a few homes Saturday afternoon.

National Weather Service forecasters confirmed the EF-1 tornado Sunday after on-site surveys.

The tornado touched down at 4:47 p.m. and began as a weak EF-0 tornado in far southeastern Davidson County, where it caused mostly minor tree and roof damage before it crossed Percy Priest Lake.

Forecasters found more damage in the far northwest part of Rutherford County before the tornado intensified to an EF-1 and moved into southern Wilson County. Forecasters said the most significant damage was found in Gladeville, where dozens of trees were snapped or uprooted, and several outbuildings were destroyed. A few homes sustained roof damage, especially in the Stonefield neighborhood.

The tornado lifted at 5:05 p.m. after it hit the Glade Church and knocked off the steeple, which fell into the church. A heating and air-conditioning unit was possibly lifted off Gladeville Elementary School. A baseball field near the Glade Church was also significantly damaged. 

Also in Gladeville, the tornado lifted a shed and threw it into a vehicle. Homes were damaged and a power line was reported down on Cobblestone Way. A diner on McCrary Road was also damaged.

Forecasters said the 100-yard-wide tornado had a path of 10.1 miles with estimated peak winds of 100 mph. No injures were reported.

According to NWS historical data, Saturday’s tornado was the first to touch down in November since 1950 when forecasters started keeping records.

Wilson Emergency Management Agency director Joey Cooper said at 6:30 p.m., there were 1,100 power outages, mainly at the Wilson-Rutherford county line.

He said at the time three commercial buildings in Wilson County sustained minor damage, and three homes also had minor damage. In addition, several roads were blocked by trees and power lines.

According to NWS reports, trees were blown down and blocked roads in the Shutes Branch Recreational Area, at 2024 Woods Ferry Road, 115 Sunset Drive just north of Mt. Juliet, 1000 Mays Chapel Road four miles northeast of Mt. Juliet, 560 Palmer Road northwest of Lebanon, in the 600 block of Rocky Valley Road southeast of Lebanon, Young Road at Walnut Hill Road near Watertown, 1700 Turner Road near Watertown, 1555 Linwood Road near Watertown and 135 Vickers Ave. east of Watertown. A tree reportedly fell on a car at 413 S. Maple St. in Lebanon.

A Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp. spokesperson said power outage reports were incomplete Sunday and would be available Monday. 

A second tornado also touched down Saturday in Joelton. 

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