"Nashville is hurting, and our community has been devastated," Nashville Mayor John Cooper wrote in a tweet

By Dave Quinn
March 03, 2020 08:35 AM

Multiple dangerous tornadoes tore through central Tennessee early Tuesday morning, flattening buildings, downing utility polls, destroying roads and left several people dead.

The National Weather Service has yet to classify the intensity of the twisters, but their path of destruction left more than 50,000 residents across the state without power, according to poweroutage.us.

According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, at least 19 are now dead, the New York Times reported.

The first tornado was reported around 12:38 a.m. CST, moving east about 45 mph, the National Weather Service said. Two more touched down in Putnam County, about 100 miles east of Nashville.

In downtown Nashville alone, about 40 buildings collapsed, the Nashville Fire Department said. Schools, businesses and one popular concert venue were all reduced to rubble.

“Nashville is hurting, and our community has been devastated,” Mayor John Cooper tweeted following the destruction. “Be sure to lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need, and let’s come together as a community once more.”

Credit: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Other areas that have reported damage include Hermitage, Mt. Juliet and Germantown.

“Our community has been impacted significantly,” the Mt. Juliet Police Department tweeted early Tuesday. “There are multiple homes damaged and multiple injuries. We have requested mutual aid from allied agencies. We continue to search for injured. Stay home if you can. Watch for downed power lines.”

A resident makes her way down Underwood St. amidst downed trees and heavy debris in Nashville, Tennessee
| Credit: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images
A man walks by a storm-damaged pickup truck on Underwood St in Nashville, Tennessee
| Credit: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images
Residents watch as emergency crews attend to a tornado-damaged apartment building on Jefferson St. in Nashville
| Credit: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Among the fatalities were two people in East Nashville, the Metro Nashville police said, and three people in Putnam County, Sheriff Eddie Farris said in a press conference.

A sixth death was reported in Benton County, Tennessee, NBC News reported.

In total, the Associated Press reported Tuesday morning that at least nine people have died. The full names of the victims have yet to be released.

While the bad weather has seemed to move out of Nashville, heavy rains remain in the forecast throughout other parts of Tennessee, according to weather.com.

The state is one of the many set to participate in Super Tuesday. Jeff Roberts of the Elections Commission told ABC News in a statement that polling sites were expected to remain open but that voters whose assigned precinct were impacted caned vote at the Election Commission Offices.