KINGSPORT – Though severe storms rolled through much of the Tri-Cities Friday night, the Colonial Heights area of Kingsport appeared to take the hardest hit.
Crews were stationed just outside Warriors’ Path State Park on Saturday afternoon assessing the damage from the night before. A portion of Fall Creek Road had been blocked off due to downed power lines and a power pole that had split in two.
Inside the park itself, dozens of trees were strewn alongside the road, and the campground area was littered with tree limbs. Park Manager Sarah Leedy said all power was lost at the park, suspending its operations.
“We can’t operate the marina or the pool, because we don’t have the plumbing and sanitation,” Leedy said. “We can’t cook food at the snack bar, any of that. So it’s going to be a little while.”
Overnight, Leedy said one of the park’s nightwatchmen had just finished his patrol and was heading out to seek shelter when two trees fell across his truck, while he was still inside.
“He was in the cab, and he doesn’t have a scratch on him,” Leedy said. “He’s fine. He called me from inside the cab and said, ‘Hey boss, I need a little help here.’”
Emergency crews quickly responded to the park’s campground, where the incident took place. Leedy added that another tree fell onto someone’s camper overnight, trapping the occupants inside. A woman inside was taken to the hospital, but has since been released with no serious injuries.
“We were incredibly lucky that we don’t have any injuries to speak of in all of this ordeal last night,” Leedy said.
As of 1 p.m. Saturday, Appalachian Power estimated more than 12,000 Kingsport customers were without power due to the storms.
According to a press release, more than 600 workers from outside the area are assisting with service restoration efforts, including workers from Ohio and unaffected areas of Virginia.