Tornado hits Nashville, Tennessee, destroying homes and knocking out power – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Severe storms that swept through Middle Tennessee on Saturday killed six people, sent about two dozen to the hospital and damaged homes and businesses in several cities.

An apparent tornado struck Montgomery County near the Kentucky border, north of Nashville, killing three people, including a child, Montgomery County officials said in a news release. The Nashville Emergency Operations Center posted on its social media account that three people were killed in a severe storm in a community north of downtown. Meanwhile, 23 other people were injured and receiving treatment at Montgomery County hospitals.

Photos posted by the Clarksville Fire Department on social media showed damaged homes, debris strewn on lawns, a tractor-trailer rolled over on the highway and insulation torn from building walls.

“This is devastating news and our hearts are broken for the families who have lost their loved ones,” Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said in a statement. “The city stands ready to support them in their time of grief. provide help.”

The Nashville Metropolitan Police Department identified the victims killed north of downtown as 37-year-old Joseph Dalton; 31-year-old Floridema Gabriel Perez. Floridema Gabriel Perez and her 2-year-old son Anthony Elmer Mendez. Dalton was inside when a storm blew Dalton’s mobile home on top of Perez’s residence. Two other children, one from each family, were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the department said in a statement.

No further information on the other three deaths was immediately available late Saturday.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the tornado touched down around 2 p.m. and a shelter was set up at a local high school.

Residents are asked to stay home while first responders assess the situation. Pitts said in a briefing shared on social media that the damage was extensive.

“So, if you need help, please call 911 and we will assist immediately. But please stay home if you can. Don’t get out of your vehicle on the roadways. Our first responders need time and space,” he said.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said he and his wife, Maria, are praying for all Tennesseans affected by the storm.

“We mourn the loss of life and ask everyone to continue to follow the guidance of local and state officials,” Lee said in a statement.

Shanika Washington said she took her children, ages 5 and 10, to a windowless bathroom in the basement of her townhouse when she heard storm sirens going off in her Clarksville neighborhood.

“The lights flickered, so I knew it was somewhere nearby,” she said. “I was praying to God the whole time it was happening. It was very scary and horrific.”

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Washington acted as a protective shield around the children during their 20 agonizing minutes in the bathroom.

“The back door literally flew open and you just heard a gust of wind,” she said. “The blinds and stuff were shaking really hard. I could tell we were in the middle of a storm.”

When she emerged from the bathroom, she looked out the window and saw the destruction: debris swept into the car with its windows broken. Houses had their shutters torn down. Roofs were ripped off some townhouses. Air conditioning units and backyard grills were discarded like toys, and wooden partitions between townhouses were gone.

With power outage in the area, Washington took the children to a hotel for the night.

“I’m still kind of in shock, so I probably won’t be able to sleep tonight,” Washington said. “I’m still trying to process it all.”

Allie Phillips, who lives in Clarksville, said she was eating lunch when she started getting notifications that a tornado was approaching her home.

“It was painful to watch the live broadcast and not know if my house was still there,” she said. “When we finally decided to leave, the road to my house was closed because there were a lot of power lines in the road and we had to take a detour.”

Phillips said her home survived with minimal damage — her daughter’s toys were broken, she noted, and a neighbor’s doghouse hit the back of her home — but she was saddened to see her neighbor’s house There is no roof, and one house on the block is gone. Almost completely disappeared.

The National Weather Service issued multiple tornado warnings in Tennessee and said it planned to survey areas of Kentucky apparently hit by tornadoes.

According to PowerOutage.us, more than 80,000 electricity customers in Tennessee were without power Saturday night.

The storm occurred nearly two years after the National Weather Service recorded 41 tornadoes in several states, including 16 in Tennessee and eight in Kentucky. In Kentucky alone, 81 people have died.

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Raby reported from Charleston, West Virginia.

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