Tornadoes Roar through Tennessee, Killing 24


Man looks at the destruction caused by a tornado in Nashville, Tennessee.

Caiden Bertsch, Insider Staff

Tornadoes hit Tennessee late on March 2 and into the morning on March 3, causing large amounts of damage and killing 24 people.

The first tornadoes hit late at night on March 2 and lasted into the early morning of March 3. They destroyed more than 140 buildings and buried people in the rubble and their basements.

“It hit so fast, a lot of folks didn’t have time to take shelter,” Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said, “Many of these folks were sleeping.”

A state of emergency was declared, and the National Guard was sent in to help with search-and-rescue efforts. State officials confirmed that 24 people had been killed, but an unknown number remain missing.

Survey teams from the National Weather Service indicated that the damage in Nashville was of at least EF-3 intensity. The tornado inflicted damage along a 10-mile stretch, including downtown. It damaged over three dozen buildings, including a historic church tower and its stain glass artwork.

More than 100 buildings were damaged along a two-mile stretch from a Tornado in Putnam County. Some homes were picked up from their foundations and their wreckage was thrown far away. A volunteer found five bodies in a neighborhood in Putnam County.

Many polling stations for Super Tuesday were damaged, causing voters to find alternate locations to vote. Voting hours were extended to allow more people to participate due to road closures and closed polling stations.

Many Tennessee residents have been aiding authorities in the cleanup and search-and-rescue efforts. “In the worst of circumstances, the best of people comes out, and that’s what we’re seeing,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.