A home is shown destroyed by high winds from one of several tornadoes that tore through the state overnight on March 3, 2020 in Cookeville, Tennessee. At least eight people were killed and scores more injured in the storms that caused severe damage in downtown Nashville.
A home is shown destroyed by high winds from one of several tornadoes that tore through the state overnight on March 3, 2020 in Cookeville, Tennessee. At least eight people were killed and scores more injured in the storms that caused severe damage in downtown Nashville.
AFP

Tornadoes ripped across Tennessee on early Tuesday, shredding at least 40 buildings and killing at least 19 people.

One of the twisters caused severe damage across downtown Nashville, destroying the stained glass in a historic church and leaving hundreds of people homeless.

Daybreak revealed a landscape littered with blown-down walls and roofs, snapped power lines and huge broken trees, leaving city streets in gridlock. Schools, courts, transit lines, an airport and the state Capitol were closed, and some damaged polling stations had to be moved only hours before Super Tuesday voting began.

The death toll jumped to 19 on Tuesday, Tennessee Emergency Management Spokeswoman Maggie Hannan said, after police and fire crews spent hours pulling survivors and bodies from wrecked buildings.

"Last night was a reminder about how fragile life is," Nashville Mayor John Cooper said at a Tuesday morning news conference.

Nashville residents walked around in dismay as emergency crews closed off roads.

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