Warm Southern Breeze

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Early Morning Tornado Blasts Nashville Tennessee On Super Tuesday

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Nashville residents and others in outlying areas along a pathway proceeding west-to-east of Nashville, including Mt. Juliet, located east of the Music City along I-40, were kept awake around midnight by the sounds of a tornado which wreaked havoc in the downtown capitol hill region, slightly north and east of the city.

The storm twisted its way through an neighborhood north of Nashville known as Germantown, into the Five Points area of East Nashville, and on through Mt. Juliet, 20 miles east of Nashville.

Nashville Fire Department officials have tentatively reported 48 collapsed, or damaged structures, numerous broken windows, and downed power lines. Numerous homes and businesses in the East Nashville and Donelson areas of metro Nashville were reported damaged, some perhaps, beyond repair.

Maggie Hannan, Community Relations Officer for Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, confirmed that, across a four-county region including Benton (Camden), Davidson (Nashville), Wilson (Mount Juliet), and Putnam (Cookeville) Counties, 19 lives were lost.

Authorities had earlier tentatively reported 14 deaths in Putnam County, 2 each in Davidson and Wilson Counties, and 1 in Benton County, but that figure has been revised upward and is expected to top well over 20 total deaths from this storm.

Putnam County officials wrote that “at approximately 2:00 a.m. CST, one confirmed tornado touched down between the city limits of Cookeville and Baxter. We have confirmed deaths possibly of 3 or more.” Several children were among those confirmed dead in Putnam County. Emergency Responders there are hoping to identify victims with the assistance of family members, while a temporary morgue has been established at Church on the Hill, 3001 Phillips Cemetery Road, Algood, Tennessee 38506, which is located just off Tennessee Highway 111 North.

Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher has confirmed one storm-related death. Cookeville Regional Medical Center reported that, in the early morning hours, at least 75 people were admitted with injuries which ranged from mild to severe, while others were either airlifted or driven to other nearby hospitals, including those in Nashville.

Authorities have also said there’s an increasing number of missing, or unaccounted-for,  people. Governor Bill Lee aerially surveyed the area, while Putnam County, and Cookeville City officials declared a state of emergency in order to expedite and mobilize state and federal aid.

The Putnam County areas which suffered the most damage include Charleston Square, Plunk Whitson Road, Echo Valley, Prosperity Point, North McBroom Chapel and Double Springs Utility District.

Tyler Chandler, a spokesman for the Mt. Juliet Police Department, said that gas lines are leaking and power lines are down in many affected neighborhoods, including Central Pike, Triple Crown, Clearview, Old Lebanon Dirt Road and Pleasant Grove Road, while numerous homes and businesses were damaged along the tornado’s path.

Metro Nashville Police Department officials have advised residents to avoid travel, if at all possible, and to stay away from affected areas, which could hamper recovery efforts in those locations. Numerous streets, highways, and thoroughfares – including Interstate – have been temporarily closed in the stricken zones, making travel difficult.

Lt. John Wheeler, with the Metro Nashville Police Department, said that MPD is blocking north-bound lanes on Cockrill Bend Boulevard, and west-bound lanes on Centennial Boulevard.

Nashville Electrical Service – an independent, non-governmental agency – has said that upwards of 45,000 houses and families in the the Nashville metro area were without electrical power, in an area encompassing in the Ashland City/Pegram area in the west/northwest, down to Hendersonville in the east, and Millersville to the north of Nashville.

Tennessee is one of 14 Super Tuesday voting states, and Davidson County Election officials have said that only one polling location required relocation, but added that storm damage would likely hamper voter turn-out. Tennessee has historically been the 50th-ranking state in poor voter turn-out, but recently moved up a notch to 49th. Secretary of State Tre Hargett said that some polling locations in Davidson and Wilson counties were opening an hour later, but would not have extended hours, and would close at their normal times.

In response to the disaster conditions, and to facilitate a more expeditious return to normalcy, state offices in Davidson, Wilson, Putnam, Carroll, Benton, Fentress, Overton, and Smith Counties have been closed, and only essential personnel have reported to duty.

National Weather Service officials are now saying that the tornado was likely an EF-3 category tornado on the Fujita Scale, with winds in excess of 165mph. The scale states that in EF-3 category tornadoes, wind speeds can be expected to range from 158 to 206 mph.

Weather patterns, winds, and storms – including tornadoes – ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS proceed in a ➔WEST➔to➔EAST➔ fashion, not “east to west,” as ERRONEOUSLY told here by the headline. The Tennessean was once a respected news-reporting and gathering organization. Their luster has long been gone since they were taken over by the USA Today network.

 

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