At least 24 people have been confirmed dead after the deadly tornadoes that rocked through the city of Nashville on Tuesday. The tornado is reported to be the deadliest tornado day in 7 years.
It was only yesterday that seven people were reported dead from the two tornadoes that touched down in central Tennessee, shredding across the Nashville area in the United States, and now that number seems to have increased to 24.
A state of emergency has been declared in Tennessee as Putnam County officials went door to door Tuesday searching 150 standing structures. They planned to continue through the night into Wednesday morning, aiming to find people in the subdivisions hardest hit by the severe weather and at least one tornado.
Officials in Putnam County, which suffered 18 storm-related deaths, have said they are working to locate 38 people who are unaccounted for.
Ahead of the destruction, East Nashville residents only had 6 minutes to prepare and get to safety, according to the Tornado Warning for Davidson county.
“I got the warning and in less than ten minutes you could just feel the pressure, my ears were popping we all ran downstairs and just huddled together,” Danielle Theophile told WSMV. “It went by so fast…it’s gone.”
Tuesday was the deadliest tornado day since May 6th, 2013, when a tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, according to the Storm Prediction Center’s Patrick Marsh.
Initial surveys indicated EF-3 tornado damage in East Nashville, Nashville’s Donelson neighbourhood and in Mt. Juliet, a town about 20 miles east of Nashville, the National Weather Service said.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many tornadoes struck the region, as the same tornado might have hit multiple areas, the weather service said. Tornadoes were reported several times along a 145-mile stretch, including in the small city of Camden just after 11 p.m.
CT; in Nashville after midnight; and in the Cookeville area in Putnam County shortly before 2 a.m., the National Weather Service said.
More than 35,000 Nashville customers were still without power early Wednesday, according to the Nashville Electric Service. Crews were “having trouble” getting to the affected areas due to the destroyed and damaged power lines.
All Metro Nashville Public Schools along with before and aftercare programs will be closed Wednesday due to storm damage and power outages, the district said in a release.
“We know that families are facing challenges due to their children suddenly being out of school,” said Dr. Adrienne Battle, interim director of Metro Schools. “We’re sensitive to those issues and eager to get students back in classrooms as soon as possible, but the extent of the tornado’s impact requires us to take at least one more day.”
Two schools will not be able to resume classes immediately — with repairs ranging from a few days for one to several weeks for the other, the release said.