The EF-3 tornado that breezes up to 165 mph ripped through Nashville, as informed by the National Weather Service. It sliced through Nashville causing destruction that looked straight out of a nightmare. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency pronounced 24 deaths from 4 nations while 65 individuals were severely injured.
“It is a tragic day in our state. A sad day,” Gov. Bill Lee said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Lee initially reported 25 deaths, but authorities later reduced the count to 24, saying one of the previously reported deaths was not to do with the storm.
Unfortunately, there is a possibility that the number of deaths could increase as the search continues. “There is a good possibility there may be more,” “It’s early yet.”, Lee warned.
Gov. Lee also told that it was “heartbreaking” to hear about the deaths.
The officials have stated that Putnam County records the highest number of dead individuals, with 28 reported and some of them being children. There is also a special morgue under progress for the victims as informed by Randy Porter, the Putnam County Mayor.
As for now, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Campus is currently taking care of 6 injured people, while 23 others are in the care of Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital in Lebanon, Tenn.
Emergency shelters have been opened in Churches in Cookeville, Mount Juliet and Lebanon and at a sportsplex in Nashville.
John Cooper, the Mayor of Nashville, sends out a unity message in a tweet as follows; “Nashville is hurting and our community has been devastated.” “My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones. Be sure to lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need, and let’s come together as a community once more. Together, we will get through this and come out stronger.”
The strength of the storm was such that it caused chaos about 50 miles over four countries. Porter informed about this to the media that the storm had paved a path about a quarter-mile wide and a length of two miles, damaging a minimum of 100 structures. Gov. Bill Lee was the person who investigated the destructed area through a helicopter and stated that it is not going to be an easy task measuring the exact scope of the destruction that occurred.
Some infrastructures are “totally gone”, he stated. Nashville fire department has stated that the Tornado has demolished over 40 infrastructures in the city.
Basement East is one such structure that collapsed due to the storm. It’s a famous concert venue that hosted a benefit concert for Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders prior to the tornado, on Monday night.
Officials have stated that dozens of buildings across the area have been demolished and 48,000 Nashville Electric customers are experiencing a power cut. 17,000 residents in Wilson County and 8,000 in Cumberland, Putnam and Jackson Counties are also without power.
“Over two-thirds of the length of Tennessee seems to have been damaged by storms last night,” the director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Patrick Sheehan, said on Tuesday in an interview with NPR and WBUR’s Here and Now.
He also stated that national guardsmen, firefighters, law enforcement and other first responders were assessing the destruction, structure by structure, in the damaged areas.
President Trump tweeted Tuesday: “The Federal Government is with you all of the ways during this difficult time.” Speaking at the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., he said, “Our hearts are full of sorrow for the lives that were lost.”
President also proclaimed that he is planning to visit the affected places on Friday.
WPLN reported Blake Farmer stated debris have scattered over a whole section of East Nashville.
“Just debris everywhere, roofs that are gone, windows that have been blown out a good part of an old historic church that’s laying in the street as rubble, a few buildings that have basically collapsed,” Farmer told NPR’s Morning Edition. “I’m looking down an alley, there are power lines just all netted over the alley, and pieces of metal roofing and all sort of debris hanging everywhere.”The tornado ripped through the building at around 1:15 a.m. Tuesday, co-owner Mike Grimes told the paper, saying five employees found shelter “with seconds to spare before the roof blew off.”
Happening Now: we are responding to reports of approx. 40 structure collapses around Nashville. Please avoid downed powerline and storm debris.
— Nashville Fire Dept (@NashvilleFD) March 3, 2020
National Airport Authority posted in a tweet, images of planes being ripped apart and being buried under the waste, and buildings at the airports missing their metal roofing. Nashville International Airport is fully functional but authorities warned travelers about unsteady roads and probable difficulties in traveling to and from the airport.
Fortunately, none of the public schools were open on Tuesday as stated in the official Twitter account for Metro Nashville public schools.
The JWN Terminal needs work and we’ll need new refueling trucks as well. pic.twitter.com/QPQqFiul6i
— Doug Kreulen (@DougKreulen) March 3, 2020
“The State of Tennessee has activated a strong coordinated response effort to last night’s devastating storms,” Lee tweeted Tuesday morning. “In the hours ahead, we will continue deploying search and rescue teams, opening shelters across the state, and sending emergency personnel to our communities hit hardest.”
Residents are advised to make sure that the roads are clear for emergency personnel and to keep away from wrecked buildings or vulnerable locations. Authorities also warned them to call 911 only if it’s a life-threatening emergency.
This natural disaster occurred on the very same day that citizens took part in the Super Tuesday presidential primary voting.
Davidson county, including Nashville, had the voting centers delayed one hour to 8.am to 7 p.m central time due to the destruction resulted from the storm. The Davidson, Putnam and Wilson polling centers were affected by the tornado, states Tennessee’s Secretary of State.
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