Nashville, TN – At least 10 people were killed and more than 40 structures collapsed after two tornadoes struck the Nashville area early Tuesday morning.
At least four people have been confirmed dead in Putnam County and two deaths have been confirmed in Davidson County, where Nashville is located, WRAL reported.
A man was killed when a tornado struck his home in Benton County to the west of Nashville, NBC News reported.
Two other people were confirmed dead in Wilson County.
Over 50,000 residents are currently without power, and dozens of homes and buildings have been severely damaged or destroyed.
Gas leaks have also been reported, according to WRAL.
“Emergency responders are working to ensure persons can get out and secure the areas,” police said, according to NBC News.
The severe weather hit Nashville at approximately 13:39 a.m., FOX News reported.
Weather forecasters believe the storm was an EF-3, which creates winds between 136 and 165 miles per hour, causing severe damage.
“A tornado skipped across the county,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper told the Tennessean during a visit to an emergency shelter. “You do have people at the hospital and frankly there have been fatalities.”
Metro Nashville Public Schools will be closed on Tuesday due to the damage, FOX News reported.
Nashville resident Blakeley Galbraith said that first responders raced into the Vista Apartments where she resides to help saved trapped tenants, NBC News reported.
She said the scene was complete “chaos.”
“Our apartments got hit the worst in our neighborhood,” Galbraith told NBC News. “Cars on top of our garage were overturned.”
She left all of her belongings sitting in six inches of water as she fled her home.
The National Fraternal Order of Police (NFOP) posted photos of the destruction on its Facebook page.
“Today, Nashville wakes up to the devastating effects of an overnight tornado,” the post read. “Nashville is home to our NFOP headquarters & many of our employees. First responders are working diligently to clear the damage and care for their community. Join us as we #PrayForNashville‘s recovery.”
Nashville Mayor John Cooper urged community members to help one another as they work through their devastation.
“Nashville is hurting, and our community has been devastated,” Cooper 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.”
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