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At least 19 dead in Nashville region from tornadoes; destroy dozens of buildings

Debris is scattered across the parking lot of a damaged apartment building after a tornado hit Nashville in the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 3, 2020. [Courtney Pedroza/The Tennessean]
March 03, 2020

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

At least nine people have been killed after at least two tornadoes touched down around Nashville, Tennessee early Tuesday morning.

UPDATE, 10:00 a.m. CST – Officials for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency have now confirmed at least 19 people have been killed by the tornadoes.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Maggie Hannan said the deaths included one in Nashville, four in Putnam County, two in Wilson County and one in Benton County. Later Tuesday Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee told reporters the latest death toll at nine victims, Fox News reported.

Lee said numerous people are still missing many more that are injured and being taken to nearby hospitals.

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The tornado that hit Nashville was estimated at an EF-3, with wind speeds between 136 and 165 miles per hour and capable of causing severe damage.

The storm also damaged or destroyed at least 40 buildings, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Many downtown buildings were among those damaged by the storm, and schools, courts, transit lines, an airport and the state capitol were closed after the tornadoes passed through. Tennessee, which is a Super Tuesday state also reportedly saw some polling locations moved as a result of the tornadoes.

Some schools in the affected area that were closed for Super Tuesday polling locations will reportedly remain closed for another week as crews work to repair damage caused by the storm.