The continuous chorus of chain saws has long vanished across the hills and valleys of southern Washington County, but the memories of three tornadoes that ripped their way through last year still exist.
It was April 27, 2011, and Nolichucky Volunteer Fire Chief Charlie Baines had already gone to bed when the first tornado went through around 11:15 p.m. He first responded to a call about a tree on a propane tank behind the gas station beside the fire hall, then went to the station to check on things there.
“The weather radio was screaming and they were saying another one was on the way. They were naming road names and it was coming right in our path."
More than 260 homes were destroyed in Washington County that night, mainly in the South Central and Fall Branch communities. Friday will mark the one-year anniversary of the devastation, and the Johnson City Press has revisited the communities and people affected by the storms with status reports from the scenes. Our news staff has compiled facts and figures about the storms, gathered personal accounts from the events and examined the rebuilding efforts of the past year.
Today’s edition contains the second group of articles in a four-day series.
The Johnson City Press is available at newsstands throughout the region or through subscription. Subscribers to either the print or online editions of Johnson City Press have full access to the electronic site.