(T-G photo by David Melson) [Order this photo]
"The public reported telephone poles blown down in the Cortner community north of Normandy from a possible tornado," according to a National Weather Service statement. A wall cloud was reported in the Cortner Road area at the same time, approximately 4:15 p.m.
Shingles were blown off a home and several trees downed on U.S. 41A six miles southeast of Shelbyville, the NWS's Nashville office said.
(T-G photo by David Melson)
A tornado warning, issued at 3:55 p.m. and based on Doppler radar-indicated activity six miles southeast of Shelbyville, was in effect at the time.
An earlier tornado warning was in effect for northwestern Bedford County from 1:46 until 2:15 p.m. No reports of sightings or damage were received.
The Bedford County Sheriff's Department was not notified of possible tornado sightings, receiving only reports of a few downed trees and water flowing over roads.
Scott Johnson of Bedford County Emergency Management Agency said the weather service had issued a report earlier in the day saying that no severe weather was expected, so both of the tornado warnings caught local officials by surprise.
When a tornado warning is issued without a tornado watch having been issued earlier, the county doesn't have a chance to open local storm shelters.
"We don't want people on the road," said Johnson.
Even so, a few people showed up at shelter locations. Johnson said shelter openings are always announced on WLIJ-AM (1580).
Johnson said the Weather Service has confirmed that there was rotation at high altitude during one of the tornado warnings, but there have been no reports of any tornado touching down.
A weather observer in Wartrace reported 5.03 inches of rain had fallen in the 24 hours before 7 a.m. today.
Johnson said the incidents of roads affected by flash flooding were "too numerous to mention." He said there were a few reports of power lines down but that he had not heard of any large outages.
Law enforcement was busy investigating accidents in heavy rain. One wreck, on U.S. 231 North at Deason shortly before 4:30 p.m., left northbound traffic blocked for over an hour after a driver lost control and struck a utility pole.
The name of the driver, who was not believed to be seriously injured, was unavailable at press time.
Additional blockages occurred as late as 9 p.m. while the lines and pole were repaired.