Update: The death toll has since risen to 21 lives lost. Click here for the most updated story. The initially published story continues below:
The death toll in Middle Tennessee is continuing to rise after a devastating tornado swept through the metro Nashville area during the early hours of Tuesday morning. Just after 8:30 a.m. local time, WKRN reporter Josh Breslow reported that authorities had confirmed that 10 people had died across multiple counties.
Among the fatalities, four were reported in Putnam County, three in Wilson County, two in the East Nashville area of Davidson County, and one in Benson County.
#UPDATE: Authorities now say *10* people have died in Middle Tennessee as a result of overnight storms. 4 in Putnam County, 3 in Wilson County, 2 in East Nashville, 1 in Benton County. @WKRN pic.twitter.com/GLS5ElqYt5— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowWKRN) March 3, 2020
According to Mount Juliet Police, two adults were found dead in the same home. The area was especially heavy hit by the storms, with Cpt. Tyler Chandler of the Mt. Juliet Police Department saying describing the damage sustained in a statement obtained by the Tennessean.
"There are multiple homes damaged and multiple people injured," he said. "Our officers are in the early stages of this response and we continue to assess what is happening ... there are multiple homes damaged, multiple people injured, multiple people still trapped. We need your help."
"There are gas lines that are leaking, power lines that are on the ground, and multiple emergency responders are responding to those who are injured and trying to get them the help that they need," Chandler continued. "We appreciate your concern, your prayers. Continue to pray for our first responders and those that are injured and we will continue to keep you updated."
In addition to the fatalities, many more are injured or missing, Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Gov. Bill Lee confirmed, according to Fox17 news anchor Jennifer Waddell. Authorities are currently going door-to-door checking on residents.0comments
In a statement shared on Twitter, Lee said that "the State of Tennessee has activated a strong coordinated response effort to last night's" storms.
"In the hours ahead, we will continue deploying search and rescue teams, opening shelters across the state, and sending emergency personnel to our communities hit hardest," the statement continued. "We encourage all Tennesseans to join us in praying for the families across our state that are facing tragedy today. Thank you to our first responders for working around the clock to keep us safe on this difficult day."