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Crews help get vaccine tents back up for clinic after storms blows through Buncombe Co.

Crews help get vaccine tents back up for clinic after storms blows through Buncombe Co.
Buncombe County says a "suspected microburst" hit vaccine tents overnight, but thanks to the help of emergency services staff with the Asheville Police Department and Buncombe County Sheriff's Office, everything has been restored and there are no expected delays for Tuesday's COVID-19 vaccine drive-through clinic. (Credit: Buncombe County Emergency Services)

Photos posted to social media Tuesday morning show the aftermath of a storm that blew through Buncombe County overnight, toppling tents at a mass vaccination site set up at A.C. Reynolds High School.

In a tweet, Buncombe County said a "suspected microburst" hit the tents overnight, but thanks to the help of emergency services staff with the Asheville Police Department and Buncombe County Sheriff's Office, everything has been restored and there are no expected delays for Tuesday's COVID-19 vaccine drive-through clinic.

The site is set up for those receiving their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Officials told News 13 that sheriff's deputies spotted the toppled tents sometime between 1 or 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning and alerted health staff and first responders.

"Failure wasn’t an option," Chief Dennis Fagnant with the West Buncombe Fire Department said. "So it never even crossed our mind that we were not gonna be ready for 8:30 in the morning for the first vaccine to be given. It was just never an option — we knew what we had to do, and and we got the team together. We knew where everybody was. It was just a matter of mobilizing them and getting them here."

Chief Fagnant says the heavy rain and wind destroyed two of the tents and the metal framing.

County officials tell News 13 that over 300 people will be attending Buncombe County Health and Human Services' drive-through clinic on Tuesday.

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As the number of vaccine recipients grows, officials say the site will be able to provide up to 5,000 vaccines weekly.

The clinic runs Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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