Nine months after tornado, Smiths Station cell tower going back up

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If you have struggled with cell phone service in Smiths Station since the March 3 tornado, your world is about to get better.

And soon.

Construction by Southeast Towers began this week on replacing the tower,

The 250-foot cell tower along U.S. Highway 280 came tumbling down when the tornado ripped through Smiths Station.

Since that time, temporary towers have been in place near the spot where the tower stood before high winds ripped it down like a bread twist tie.

That has left many in the Smiths Station area with iffy cell coverage.

“Service has been real spotty since then, especially toward the western side of the city and towards Lee County,” Smiths Station Mayor Bubba Copeland said Wednesday. “Some of the schools can’t even get cell phone service due to the tower being down. It is a huge move toward rebuilding where we were at prior to March 3rd.”

It’s been a long nine-month run, Copeland said.

“On the day of the tornado we had zero connectivity until we got these portable towers,” the mayor said. “It was horrible. A lot of people still today have to go outside to use the phone — or whatever to try and pick up service or travel a little bit. The city and the region we are in, that is uncalled for. And this tower is a huge step toward that,”

Unless you are paying close attention, you might not notice the crew rebuilding the tower. Their work should be completed by the end of the week.

The next step is for the temporary towers to come down and the antennas to be installed. Everything should be operational by the end of the month.

“We’re stacking out the first 60 foot,” said Jordan Rogers, foreman of Southeast Towers. “Then we are going to build the other sections around the tower. And then we will have a larger-sized crane come on Friday and we will stack out the other 200 foot.”

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