Tornadoes hit Nashville, death toll rises to 22

Last night around midnight tornadoes swept through four counties in the area of Nashville, Tennessee. This morning the death toll from the disaster has risen to 22 people but authorities are aware there are still an unknown number of missing people.

A powerful storm early Tuesday spawned tornadoes that ripped through Tennessee, killing at least 22 people and creating a trail of devastation that struck Nashville and stretched across several counties in the central part of the state…

Officials warned that the number of confirmed fatalities could rise, as officials were still working to get a handle on the reach of the devastation and emergency workers continued to search through the rubble of damaged buildings. Police officers were going house to house in some areas, and road crews were clearing streets and dangerous electrical debris.

“It’s not looking good right now. We still have several people missing, a lot of loved ones calling in wanting us to locate their family,” Sheriff Eddie Farris of Putnam County told a local news station, WKRN. “We certainly hope that number doesn’t go up, but it’s not looking real promising at this point.”

WKRN in Nashville reports on some of the victims:

Metro police reported two people died after they were hit by debris along McFerrin Avenue in East Nashville. Officers said one of the victims, an adult female, was pronounced dead at the scene, while an adult male later died at a local hospital.

Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton said 16 people were killed in Putnam County. Several of the victims were children, Shelton explained.

The Benton County Sheriff reported one person was killed and at least two others injured in the storm. The sheriff said a 67-year-old man was inside a mobile home, when it was picked up and thrown into a field.

In addition to the lives lost there was also a tremendous amount of property damage. A little after midnight the Nashville Fire Department said 40 structures had collapsed around the city:

But, looking at photos, it appears there are hundreds more homes that were seriously damaged:

A massive warehouse, about half of which has collapsed:

And this church which was nearly 200 years old:

One of the hardest hit spots was this Nashville airport. Four hangars were destroyed and airplanes were smashed together like toys:

The electrical infrastructure was seriously impacted. Nearly 50,000 people are still without power:

Lots of power line damage at the street level too:

The tornados that struck are said to be EF-3s.

I’ll update this post if the situation changes.

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