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Videos: 6 killed in devastating tornadoes

Flowers on a casket. (Unsplash)
December 11, 2023

At least six people were killed as tornadoes devastated communities in Tennessee’s Montgomery and Davidson counties Saturday afternoon and evening.

According to The Tennesseean, the tornadoes left over 160,000 Middle Tennessee residents without power. Additionally, The Associated Press reported that the tornadoes destroyed entire homes and businesses and resulted in roughly two dozen people being sent to the hospital.

“This is a sad day for our community,” Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden said in a statement obtained by The Tennessean. “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.”

Video footage shared on social media over the weekend showed the horrific destruction caused by Saturday’s tornadoes.

According to the Metro Nashville Police Department, three people were killed in a single mobile home in a suburb of Nashville on Saturday. Police identified the individuals as 37-year-old Joseph Dalton, 31-year-old Floridema Gabriel Perez, and 2-year-old Anthony Elmer Mendez.

The Metro Nashville Police Department also reported that Dalton’s 10-year-old son and Perez’s 7-year-old son were also located in the home when the tornado struck. However, both were transported to Vanderbilt Pediatrics and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell released a statement on X, formerly Twitter, acknowledging the “deadly tornadoes” and encouraging residents to help each other.

“Tonight, Nashville joins other communities across Middle Tennessee grieving loss of life from deadly tornadoes,” he stated. “As we continue to take stock of the devastation, please keep our neighbors in your thoughts and prayers. Be safe and look after one another.”

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O’Connell also addressed Saturday’s tragic storm in a video statement shared late Saturday night.

“Today, a storm turned the world upside down for many in our community. I’m heartbroken to report that we know of at least three lives lost as a result of this devastating storm,” he said. “Based on the damage, I’m declaring a state of emergency for Nashville and Davidson County. In addition to known fatalities and injuries, first responders are still working across the county to get to some hard to reach areas.”

O’Connell explained that Nashville had “partially activated” its emergency operation center and was in contact with both state and federal agencies. He warned residents that while many of them might want to provide immediate help, it was “crucial” for residents to avoid the areas that were hit hardest by the tornadoes and to follow the guidance of first responders and local officials.

“Right now, your safety is my top priority,” he added. “There’s a long road of healing and recovery ahead for many of our neighbors, and we’ll share more information about how we can all support them in the days and weeks ahead. For now, be safe and take care.”