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Smith: 40-50 Mph Sustained Winds Likely Friday, Be Weather Aware

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Smith: 40-50 Mph Sustained Winds Likely Friday, Be Weather Aware

A second day of strong winds this week could produce tree damage and scattered power outages Friday.

Putnam County Emergency Management Director Brandon Smith said sustained winds of 40-50 mph are likely Friday. Winds approaching 60mph are possible Friday afternoon as a line of thunderstorms approaches the Upper Cumberland.

“We look at what happened to us earlier this week and some of the limbs and things that broke,” Smith said. “We also have a ground that’s pretty saturated, that throughout the week we’ve gotten more rain, and so some of those trees may be a little more likely to come on over.”

The Friday storms will bring the start of the winter’s first prolonged cold snap. Temperatures Saturday will be the warmest of the next week with highs in the upper 30s. Smith said the first of next week will remind you of last Christmas.

“Evening and nighttime lows are going to be down into the single digits is what they’re forecasting now,” Smith said. “So it’s going to be an extreme cold snap. And I think we could compare it to the Christmas time last year cold snap as far as the impacts that we could see and the preparation folks need to.”

As for Friday, Smith said winds in the 40mph range typically start causing damage to trees and plants.

“We really start seeing dead limbs and broken limbs or limbs get broken out of trees and come down,” Smith said. “It can also cause power lines to make contact with each other as they’re blowing around up on the pole or some of those limbs to come down on power lines, you’re going to have a really hard time. Any items that are loose outside that are leaned against the building or a home or like your trash cans, if you’re a Friday route collection, you can pretty much count on the trash can being blown over unless it’s got quite a bit of heavy weight in it.”

Winds over 50mph can cause damage to shingles and siding that may be loose. Broken limbs can also begin causing traffic impacts.

Smith said the sustained winds Friday mean it will be a “two hands on the wheel kind of day.” Trucks, vans, SUVs are all vulnerable as are vehicles towing a trailer.

“Pay attention as you’re driving, especially high profile vehicles,” Smith said. “Because a wind gust can come unexpectedly and very easily blow you out of your lane of travel or just cause you to lose control of the vehicle if you’re not careful, especially as it’s raining.”

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the region beginning at 6am Friday.


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