NWS gives preliminary ratings for tornadoes that hit middle Tennessee; at least 24 dead
Widespread damage reported in multiple counties
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - At least 24 people have died after tornadoes hit early Tuesday morning in middle Tennessee.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has declared a state of emergency. The agency has also confirmed two dozen deaths from the storms.
- 18 in Putnam County
- 3 in Wilson County
- 2 in Davidson County
- 1 in Benton County
An evening update from TEMA corrected an earlier report of 25 victims. Putnam County initially reported a 19th death but it was determined to not be storm-related.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said there are still a number of residents unaccounted for as of Tuesday afternoon.
The National Weather Service has crews out surveying the damage. Preliminary reports show an EF-3 impacted three Nashville-area neighborhoods, including Five Points in east Nashville (136-140 mph winds), Donelson (160-165 mph winds) and Mount Juliet (155-160 mph winds), along with an EF-2 in the John C. Tune area (130 mph winds) and the Germantown neighborhood of north Nashville (125 mph).
NWS says the damage in these neighborhoods are possible from the same tornado.
Preliminary survey results for Benton and Carroll counties indicate at least an EF-2 (125 mph winds) in both communities and an EF-1 in the Lebanon area of Smith County.
The survey of Putnam County damage won’t begin until the area is deemed safe. There, at least 19 people are confirmed dead from the storm, including several children, with dozens more injured.
According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the hardest-hit areas include Charleston Square, Plunk Whitson, Echo Valley, Prosperity Point, North McBroom Chapel and Double Springs Utility District.
Two more people died in the Nashville suburb of Mount Juliet, which is in Wilson County. Crews said Tuesday afternoon they were still searching for injured people.
In Davidson County, Metro Nashville police say two people died on McFerrin Street. The department identified the victims as 36-year-old Michael Dolfini and his girlfriend, 33-year-old Albree Sexton. The two had just left Attaboy lounge where Dolfini worked when they were hit by debris.
The John C. Tune Airport in west Nashville, sister airport to the Nashville International Airport, also reported damage.
Tennessee State University reported damage to several building rooftops, down trees and power lines. Students there are currently on spring break.
The Red Cross has opened several shelters in the Nashville area for residents who have lost their homes.
By Tuesday afternoon, some Nashville residents were surveying the devastation, vowing to rebuild.
In the Five Points neighborhood, people handed out free food and water and helped clean up tree brush and trash.
“It’s a tight-knight group and I’m really glad people are able to be here and help out,” said Todd Sisson.
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