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March 3 (Gephardt Daily/UPI) — The latest report out of Nashville is that close to 20 people are confirmed dead after a tornado that touched down early Tuesday, authorities said.
Tennessee Emergency Management Community spokeswoman Maggie Hannan places the current number of confirmed dead at 19, according to a Washington Post article.
Searches of collapsed buildings are underway, and others have died after being hit by flying debris, according to reports. The numbers of dead and injured are likely to be updated multiple times through the day.
Police also said 40 buildings collapsed when the twister touched down.
Damage stretched for at least 20 miles, from just north of downtown Nashville to suburban Mt. Juliet, east of the city.
The tornado and the storm cut power to at least 24,000 homes and businesses, Nashville Electric Service said.
Some of the most serious damage was reported in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood. Its popular farmers market was converted into a makeshift shelter. Also hard-hit was the Five Points neighborhood, another revitalized part of the city near downtown.
Cooper said he is working with local and federal response officials.
“Nashville is hurting, and our community has been devastated,” he 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.”
Metro Nashville schools are closed Tuesday due to the damage.