15 tornadoes confirmed in weekend severe weather outbreak
Towns in Tennessee are recovering from devastating EF3 and EF2 tornadoes but those weren't the only weekend twisters.
Buildings in Tennessee were damaged after tornadoes moved through the area on Dec. 9. Some people can be seen already repairing their homes.
Daylight Sunday revealed unfathomable destruction in the wake of several tornadoes of EF3 and EF2 intensity that tore through the middle of Tennessee on Saturday.
Six people were confirmed dead in Clarksville, Tennessee, and Madison, a suburb of Nashville. More than 80 were treated at hospitals, according to local officials.
Search and rescue crews, including the Metro Nashville Police Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team, spent Sunday searching damaged structures for survivors and clearing debris.
In Clarksville in Montgomery County, about an hour northwest of Nashville, three people, including a child, died after a tornado struck. About 60 people were treated for injuries at area medical facilities, including nine who were transferred in critical condition to a Nashville hospital, Jimmie Edwards, Montgomery County’s director of emergency services, told the AP.
According to a statement from Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency released on Sunday, hundreds of structures had been damaged, 271 with major damage making them uninhabitable. "There are 91 structures that are totally destroyed... the vast majority of these structures are residential dwellings."
Marco Tulio Gabriel Pérez arrived in Nashville after hearing that his sister and 2-year-old nephew were killed in the tornado. He told The Associated Press two other children in the family survived with minor injuries.
“Regrettably, a tragedy happened here. Since it’s a tornado, it came through like you can see here. She lived in this trailer. The other trailer overturned on top of my deceased sister. She remained underneath; the other trailer went on top,” Pérez told The AP in Spanish.
EF3, EF2 and other tornadoes confirmed
Late Sunday evening, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Nashville, Tennessee, declared the tornado in Madison an EF2 twister. The Clarksville tornado was also confirmed to have tracked from the Fort Campbell, Tennessee, area, 43 miles over the state line to near Trenton, Kentucky. EF3 damage was confirmed in Clarksville, with winds estimated at 150 mph.
As of Tuesday morning, a total of 15 tornadoes have been confirmed by the National Weather Service While Tennessee had the highest number of twisters, other tornados were reported in Mississippi, Alabama, and (on Sunday) North Carolina.
Power outages likely to continue for a while
As of Tuesday morning, Poweroutage.us showed around 7,000 customers still without power in Tennessee, some of which are not likely to be restored soon. Nashville Electric Service CEO Teresa Broyles-Aplin said several substations were so severely damaged she couldn't give a clear timeline on restoration, according to ABC Nashville affiliate WKRN.
In Clarksville, it could take even longer. During a Sunday press conference, Montgomery County Mayor Joe Pitts said the Clarksville Department of Electricity is reporting ongoing outages.
Nationwide, 100,000 customers were without power from the storm Monday morning, down from 200,000 Sunday evening. By Tuesday morning, only 25,000 remained without power in the East.
“This is a multiple-day event,” Pitts said. “It could be a couple of weeks before we get power restored.”
Luckily, it will be dry throughout the region for the next couple of days, and no further disruptions from weather outside of the seasonably chilly weather are expected.
In a statement thanking the community for "an outpouring of support and donations," the Clarksville-Montgomery County School School System announced all schools would be closed through Tuesday. Local news outlets are publishing lists of shelters across the areas most impacted by storms for people who need a place to stay.
December tornadoes are unusual, but not rare. The National Climatic Data Center recorded 58 tornadoes in December 2022 but 232 in December 2021, an unusually high spike.Report a Typo
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