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Decatur County under state of emergency following weekend storms

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Posted at 11:11 AM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 18:45:21-04

DECATUR COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — A massive storm cleanup operation is underway in Decatur County. The county was hit hard by straight line winds during a storm on Saturday, causing widespread damage.

On Sunday night, 27,000 Lexington Electric System customers were still without power. On Monday afternoon, the power was restored to the water treatment plant in Parsons, but a boil order remains in place for residents. In other parts of Decatur County, 8,000 people are still without water. Water levels around the county were so low, the Decatur County Hospital did not have running water at one point, but FEMA delivered a truck-sized container of water to the hospital. According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, it could take 10 days to 2 weeks to restore power to the area.

Damage to homes along the Tennessee River at the Perry-Decatur county line show exactly what 70-mile-per hour winds can do.

"It's extensive," Shane Bridges said, "I've only lived here since 2011 but I've never seen anything like this."

Bridges is the special projects coordinator for the City of Parsons. He pointed out that there's roof damage to Decatur County Middle School. All Decatur County Schools will be closed this week. Even if the schools were operational, some people are stuck in their homes due to blocked roads.

Bridges said, "Decatur County is full of individuals, volunteers, that are helping their friends and neighbors, it's Decatur County strong as we say here."

DCEMA is asking anyone willing to relocate to a shelter to go to the Decatur County Hospital waiting room in Parsons. Transportation will be provided to the shelter in Selmer by Southwest Human Resource Agency.