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The Blount Countian, March 20, 2013

Widespread damage after storm

Monday afternoon’s storm left trees down, wires hanging, roof damage, mobile homes destroyed and power outages all across the Blount County area. At one point, EMA director Max Armstrong said dispatch had 90 open calls.

“For now, it seems this was all straight-line winds, nothing, so far, has indicated any rotation,” Armstrong said. “It appeared that the storm was speeding up and then slowing down, and strengthened before entering Blount County. We saw the damage reports right before, but it was too late. All we could do, at that point, was tell people to be careful.”

Armstrong said no injuries were reported besides a minor injury that occurred when a vehicle struck a downed tree.

Body found near Low Water Creek Bridge identified

No autopsy was performed on the body found near Low Water Creek Bridge, according to Blount County Coroner John Mark Vaughn.

Vaughn said identification in the case was not an issue because Raymond Charles Wournell’s billfold and checkbook were found with the body.

Wournell’s cause of death has been listed as environmental exposure, says Vaughn. Wournell was reported missing on Jan. 18 and his car was found submerged in Low Water Creek days later.

Gilliland to lead the Panthers

Former Oneonta head coach Gardner Gilliland has been hired as the new head football coach at Cleveland High School.

Gilliland, a 1988 graduate of Cleveland, was an assistant coach at Boaz High School last year and had been hired as an assistant at Etowah High School in January.

As head coach at Oneonta from 2005 to 2009, Gilliland was 40-18 overall and 4-4 in the playoffs. He was the defensive coordinator of the Redskins’ state championship team in 2004.

Gilliland replaces Danny Adams, who resigned last month after two seasons at Cleveland.