NASHVILLE (UPI) — Several people have been killed by a tornado that touched down in Nashville, Tenn., early Tuesday, authorities said.
The number of dead in central Tennessee is at least six. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency reported “multiple” deaths and WKRN-TV reported nine dead.
Police also said 40 buildings collapsed when the twister touched down.
Damage stretched for at least 20 miles, from just north of downtown Nashville to suburban Mt. Juliet, east of the city.
The tornado and the storm cut power to at least 24,000 homes and businesses, Nashville Electric Service said.
Some of the most serious damage was reported in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood. Its popular farmers market was converted into a makeshift shelter. Also hard-hit was the Five Points neighborhood, another revitalized part of the city near downtown.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper said at least 20 people were hospitalized and he’s working with local and federal response officials.
“Nashville is hurting, and our community has been devastated,” he tweeted. “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.”
Metro Nashville schools are closed Tuesday due to the damage.
Reporting by Don Jacobson
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