At least five people have been killed after tornadoes hit central Tennessee, including one that ripped through the metropolitan Nashville area, early Tuesday, March 3. Many others were injured and along with businesses and homes flattened and tens of thousands of residents are without power.
The National Weather Service said that a tornado northwest of downtown Nashville had touched down around 1 a.m. local time and warned residents to “take cover.”
“Tornado still confirmed on the ground near Hermitage. THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TORNADO! TAKE COVER NOW IN WILSON COUNTY!!!” The service tweeted.
Metro Nashville Police Department confirmed two people were killed in the storm, tweeting, “Two fatalities have been reported to the MNPD, the victims from East Nashville.”
Shortly thereafter, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reported at least three fatalities as a result of the storm.
According to Metro Nashville PD, officers and the fire department were on the scene of multiple buildings with damage around the downtown. The Nashville Fire Department responded to about 40 building collapses around the city.
“NES presently reports 47,800 customers without power, about half of those in the Hermitage area. Crews will be assessing issues & making repairs as day breaks,” MNPD tweeted.
Many homes had been damaged and multiple people had been injured and trapped in buildings by the storm, Mount Juliet Police Department said.
“Our community has been greatly impacted by a tornado. There are multiple homes damaged and multiple people injured. Our officers are in the early stages of this response and we continue to assess what is happening … there are multiple homes damaged, multiple people injured, multiple people still trapped. We need your help,” said Captain Chandler of the Mount Juliet Police Department.
“There are gas lines that are leaking, power lines that are on the ground, and multiple emergency responders are responding to those who are injured and trying to get them the help that they need,” he continued. “We appreciate your concern, your prayers. Continue to pray for our first responders and those that are injured and we will continue to keep you updated.”
A community shelter has been set up at Victoria Baptist Church in Mount Juliet, according to the Mount Juliet Police Department.
According to The National Weather Service’s announcement, a tornado watch had been extended until 6 a.m. local time.
Officials at John Tune Airport, Nashville International’s sister airport in West Nashville, released a statement saying the facility had suffered heavy damage. Several hangars have been destroyed, and power lines are down. There are no reported injuries, ABC News reported.
Due to the tornado, all metropolitan Nashville schools will be closed on Tuesday and State Trial Courts in Davidson County are also closed. Some Super Tuesday polling stations may also have been impacted.
“At this point, information about damage to polling locations is being collected. Any voter in Davidson County whose assigned precinct has been impacted may vote at the Election Commission Offices located at 1417 Murfreesboro Pk or 800 2nd Ave South,” according to WKRN.