Central Tennessee was rocked by severe storms and tornadoes Saturday, leading to the death of six and over three dozen people hospitalized, CBS News reported.
The destructive weather pattern caused extensive damage across multiple cities, according to the outlet. In Montgomery County, a tornado claimed the lives of three individuals, including a child; 23 others were treated for injuries, per the outlet. Three additional fatalities were reported by Nashville’s Emergency Operation Center.
An intense search and rescue operation was initiated in the aftermath of the storm. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said they are still in the critical phase of this disaster response, per CBS News.
Tennessee tornado 2023. Please be safe.
Friend from my wrestling academy captured this insane video in Madison. Please be safe. pic.twitter.com/2JDWNznfUn
— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) December 9, 2023
“We’ve been hit very hard by a tornado here in Clarksville and Montgomery County,” Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden said in a video posted to social media.
The storm’s fury was evident in the northern parts of Clarksville, where police and firefighters were busy responding to multiple reports of damage, per the outlet. Mayor Golden warned of the ongoing dangers posed by tripped power lines and unsafe areas. He also urged residents to stay indoors while emergency services assess and address the situation. (RELATED: These Absolutely Insane Videos Of Tornados Will Make Your Brain Break)
“We know there’s extensive damage throughout the community, so we need to take care of families who are desperately in need of help,” Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said in the video.
An earlier statement from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office confirmed several homes were damaged when the tornado struck around 2 p.m. local time, CBS News reported. A local high school was designated as a temporary shelter for those displaced by the storm.
More than 56,000 customers in Tennessee were without electricity late Saturday night, according to PowerOutage.us. The city of Springfield, about 30 miles east of Clarksville, experienced a complete power outage, prompting officials to request residents to avoid road travel.
The National Weather Service issued multiple tornado warnings throughout Tennessee and planned to survey an area in Kentucky where another tornado reportedly hit. This storm occurred nearly two years after a series of 41 tornadoes — including 16 in Tennessee and eight in Kentucky — resulted in 81 deaths in Kentucky alone, a reminder of the destructive potential of these natural disasters.