Dozens of people remain missing after a tornado devastated Putnam County Tuesday morning, leaving at least 18 dead. As of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, authorities confirmed that there were 24 people still unaccounted for, down significantly from the 77 reported missing Tuesday evening, according to local station WKRN.
A full list of the names can be found by clicking here. Authorities ask that those on the list call Putnam County at (931) 646-4636.
Moving east to west and initially sweeping through Davidson County, where an EF-3 tornado touched down in East Nashville, the storm moved into Putnam County, producing more tornadoes. After the storms cleared, emergency personnel in the area began going door-to-door searching for survivors, spray painting X's on the homes that had been checked, according to the Tennessean.
"We have been able to go door to door on all standing structures that are not demolished," Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris said. "That is well over 100 structures, closer to 150."
"If there are more victims, it's a high probability that's where we would find them," Farris added.
For many, the destruction in the area was unsurvivable, with the death toll in Putnam County quickly rising to 18. The death toll was adjusted down from 19 to 18 after authorities determined that one fatality was unrelated to the storms.
Among the dead are several children, Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter confirmed.
"There were some children, I'm sorry to say," Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said. "We are still working to find out ages. It hit so fast, most of these folks were sleeping."
At this time, emergency responders are still working to identify the victims with the help of family members. Those looking for unaccounted loved ones are asked to go to Church on the Hill off Highway 111 North.
"This is an absolutely tragic and devastating day for our city and county," Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton said. "Our first ask is for prayers for our families, community and responders that are out there and have been out there almost 10 hours searching and rescuing and working through that."0comments
Authorities have requested that the public stay away from affected areas to allow emergency responders to work. Volunteers looking to help are asked to bring chainsaws, gloves, safety goggles, vests and cases of water.
National Weather Service officials will arrive Wednesday to determine the scale and intensity of the cyclone, and President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the area on Friday.