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State of emergency declared for Tennessee after deadly tornadoes

West Wilson Middle in Mt Juliet, Tennessee damages after tornado
West Wilson Middle in Mt Juliet, Tennessee damages after tornado(Courtesy Bart Barker)
Updated: Mar. 3, 2020 at 9:51 AM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMC/WVLT) - The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency declared a level three state of emergency for Tennessee after deadly tornadoes ripped through Nashville and Cookeville early Tuesday morning.

More than two dozen deaths are confirmed so far, with the majority occurring in Putnam County.

TEMA posted this statement on its website:

Starting on Mar. 2, a line of severe storms passed through Tennessee and has caused major damage to buildings, roads, bridges, utilities and businesses in several counties. Tornado damage has been reported throughout West and Middle Tennessee including downtown Nashville, TN.

Multiple fatalities have been reported and the number of injuries is unknown. The total number of businesses and residents without power is unknown. The exact extent of the damage is also unknown."

TEMA is asking residents to call 911 only in life-threatening emergency situations.

According to TEMA, a level three emergency means “a serious emergency or minor disaster has occurred or a situation is deteriorating rapidly and public warnings are being issued. The Tennessee Emergency Management Plan (TEMP) is activated and a state of emergency is automatically declared per TCA 58-2-107. Key or specifically needed emergency service coordinators for state departments are recalled to duty the State’s Emergency Operations Center.

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