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Dandridge, Tennessee

May 2, 2011 www.jeffersoncountypost.com

Jefferson County Ravaged By Tornados and Severe Storms
American Red Cross Sets Up Shelters
Staff Photo
Jefferson County was pounded by fierce weather as a string of monster storms plowed through the south. Wednesday, April 27, 2011, was a horrific day for residents of Jefferson County as they waited for the same storms that had ravaged Alabama, as well as other counties in Tennessee, to arrive. Jefferson County Schools released early on Wednesday, in hopes of transporting students safely home before the storms hit. The 12:30pm release time did allow students and employees of the school system time to reach the safety of their homes before the storms hit later Wednesday evening.
The storm system was more a series of damaging storms than just one system. The waves of storms started in the early evening hours of Wednesday and did not fully exit Jefferson County until around 11:00pm that night. Many Jefferson County residents took refuge in basements, hallways and bathrooms as tornado warnings were issued for the area. At the time of press, the National Weather Service had identified 16 tornados that struck Tennessee. They ranged in intensity from a EF-0 to an EF-4. The EF Scale, or Enhanced Fujita Scale, rates tornados for their intensity and the damage they can cause. A tornado that rates a EF-0 is considered to be a gale, producing little or no damage and low intensity. A tornado ranking a EF-4 is considered to be devastating in nature-high intensity, producing great damage to affected areas. 
Staff Photo
Hail, that varied from marble to golf ball size, pelted Jefferson County during at least two separate storms on Wednesday. White Pine was a high damage area as high winds and hail up rooted trees and downed power lines. A shelter was established by the Red Cross in White Pine on Wednesday. Several homes were impacted as broken windows and destroyed roofs were left in the storms wake. Patriot Hills Subdivision saw a great deal of shattered glass and home damage. By Thursday morning, Jefferson County residents were greeted with home repairs and dented cars, but thankfully no fatalities. A Jefferson County insurance agent stated that calls were coming in in the triple digits, as Jefferson County residents assessed the damage to their property. Neighboring counties did not fair as well. Cocke County had an enormous amount of property destruction, including an adult high school. Greene County , which had a confirmed EF-3 tornado, has had 6 confirmed fatalities. The original number was reported as 7 fatalities, however authorities discovered one victim, listed as deceased, at a neighboring county hospital. Though the victim survived the tornado, which killed her husband, she is listed in critical condition. All in all, the death toll from the April 27 storms stands at 341 fatalities. Numerous homes were destroyed and injuries occurred. Communication is still down in parts of the storm ravaged south. Unfortunately, May is considered to be the most active month for tornado and sever storm activity.
Staff Photo

Jefferson County Industrial Board Meets
New Market & White Pine taken off table for Logistics Park
The Jefferson County Industrial Development Board met on Thursday, April 28, 2011, at the Jefferson County Health Department.
Chairman of the Industrial Development Board (IDB), Daryl Brady, called the meeting to order.
New Board Members Tom Hodge and Larry Masters were introduced.
Elections were held for the office of Secretary and Treasure of the IDB. Larry Masters was elected secretary and absentee board member Dave Holt was elected to the position of treasure. 
Minutes of the previous meeting and the Financial Report were unanimously accepted.
KaTom, a company in the Lakeway Region , was discussed as a possible prospect for Jefferson County. KaTom is interested in property that has easy interstate access and visibility. They have been contacted by Brady and Jefferson County Mayor Palmieri, as well as Dandridge City Manager Jim Hutchins. The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce has also been involved in the recruitment process.
Jefferson County will not be a prospect for the location of Volkswagen Supplier because Jefferson County does not possess 20 acres of publicly owned land. Jefferson County has no publicly owned land and zoned land.
Old Business was in the form of Business/Logistic Park sites. Jefferson City , White Pine and New Market were all considered possibilities for the proposed park. In excess of 70 citizens packed the room to express their interest in the proposed sites. Around a dozen of the citizens spoke regarding the location of the proposed park. The majority of the citizens speaking were not in favor of locating the park in their communities. White Pine and New Market were both heavily represented by citizens opposed to the location of the Logistic/Business Park in their areas of the county. There were a few people present that were in favor of the Parks and spoke of their benefit to the economic growth of the community. Two county commissioners spoke regarding the proposed sites. Commissioner Barreiro and Commissioner Estes both cautioned the IDB that funds may not be available to build any type of Business/ Logistical Park that requires county money. Barreiro stated that she is not in favor of any type of industry that replaces farming ,which is still a viable industry in Jefferson County. She is concerned about the loss of farmable land in favor of less environmentally friendly industry. Estes said that he wants to make sure that the project is marketable and he wanted to be sure that the proposed Park Could be filled. After some debate about whether to postpone a vote recommending a site to the county commission,
Staff Photos
the Industrial Development Board did vote (Master and Cason-No) to take the New Market and White Pine sites off of the table for consideration. The Jefferson City site, which was largely unopposed, is still an option. The IDB also voted to investigate small individual pieces of land for the same purpose.  The Meeting was Adjourned.

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