Tornadoes and severe storms struck Nashville and surrounding regions of Tennessee late Monday night, killing at least nine people, injuring numerous others, and causing significant property damage across the state, CNN reported.
There were at least three reports of tornadoes within a 145-mile stretch between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., starting in the city of Camden and heading east through Nashville and all the way to Cookeville. First responders are still working on ensuring no one is trapped in collapsed structures.
"There are a couple of tragic cases, in one case a tree falling on a car and there are also I believe about 20 people in the hospital, so we need to monitor that very carefully," Nashville Mayor John Cooper told CNN affiliate WTVF. "We all worry about some people being left in some buildings that have been damaged and I know the first responders are working their way through that problem."
A number of homes and buildings were destroyed, particularly east of Nashville in Mt. Juliet, where police are still searching for people who may have been injured in the tornado. Schools in Mt. Juliet will be closed for the rest of the week.
More than 50,000 power outages had been reported as of Tuesday morning. Nashville public schools are closed due to damage in the city, although polling locations for Super Tuesday voting will be open.
Several hangars were reportedly destroyed at John C. Tune Airport in west Nashville.
Making things worse, the forecast shows the potential for heavy rains and more strong storms throughout the day, which will make recovery and repair efforts more difficult, and bring the potential for flooding.
This story has been updated with more accurate casualty numbers. We will continue to update as events warrant.