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Six dead as tornadoes and severe storms rip through Tennessee

At least six people were confirmed dead as tornadoes and thunderstorms ripped through Tennessee on Saturday.

Three people, including two adults and a child, were killed in Clarksville as a result of a tornado that touched down at around 2pm on Saturday afternoon, a Montgomery County spokesperson said. “Additionally, 23 people have been treated at the hospital.”

Three others died in Nashville, according to the town’s emergency operations centre, which reported “severe damage” in the area along with downed power lines. The casualty figures are likely to change, warned state officials, who are continuing to search for survivors.

Photos posted by the Clarksville fire department on social media showed damaged houses with debris strewn across lawns, a tractor-trailer flipped on its side on a highway and insulation ripped out of building walls. The National Weather Service has also issued multiple tornado warnings in Tennessee with reports of a further tornado in Kentucky.

Over 52,000 electricity customers were without power in Tennessee on Saturday night, according to PowerOutage.us.

“This is a sad day for our community,” Montgomery County’s mayor Wes Golden said. “We are praying for those who are injured, lost loved ones, and lost their homes. This community pulls together like no other and we will be here until the end.”

Clarksville mayor Joe Pitts said: "This is devastating news and our hearts are broken for the families of those who lost loved ones.

"The city stands ready to help them in their time of grief."

A car is buried under rubble on Main Street after a tornado hit Hendersonville, Tennessee, 9 December2023 (via REUTERS)
A car is buried under rubble on Main Street after a tornado hit Hendersonville, Tennessee, 9 December2023 (via REUTERS)

Mr Pitt declared a state of emergency for Clarksville and imposed a 9pm curfew for Saturday and Sunday, keeping in mind the “health, safety and welfare of the community”.

Government officials in Sumner County also reported “significant damage” after tornadoes ripped through Gallatin and Hendersonville northeast of Nashville.

“At this time, we are working to respond to multiple calls throughout the county and to establish Red Cross shelters in Gallatin and Hendersonville,” said a joint statement from the communities’ mayors.

“It is of paramount importance that citizens stay off of the roads and allow first responders and utility crews to respond,” it read.

The country’s emergency medical services said they are “not aware of any loss of life or life-threatening injuries at this time”.

Governor Bill Lee also took to social media, saying he and his wife Maria were “praying for all Tennesseans who have been impacted by the tornadoes that swept through the state this evening”.

A storm front approaches downtown Nashville, Tenn., which spawned an apparent tornado north of the city, Saturday, 9 December2023 (AP)
A storm front approaches downtown Nashville, Tenn., which spawned an apparent tornado north of the city, Saturday, 9 December2023 (AP)

We mourn the lives lost & ask that everyone continue to follow guidance from local & state officials,” he wrote on X.