The historic Tennessee State Prison suffered extensive damage as an EF-3 tornado ripped through the metro Nashville area early Tuesday morning, the Tennessee Department of Correction confirmed. The prison was notably used as a filming location in numerous film and TV series, including the Tom Hank-starring film The Green Mile and the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line.
Aerial footage of the scene shows debris scattered across the grounds. Speaking in a video shared to Twitter Commissioner Tony Parker said the damage was "significant," with the Cook Chill Building almost entirely destroyed and the strike force building severely damaged. A 40-yard section of a stone wall and several power poles were knocked down, though nobody was injured.
"The damage is significant here at the Old Tennessee State Prison," Parker said. "It was a pretty significant tornado. It did a lot of damage."
"This building's been here a long time. I didn't know what the future of this building would be, but it's obvious that nature can come in a few seconds and change a landscape," he added. "I'm just thankful no one was hurt here."
"This area right now is very unsafe. They should not come over here to look at what's going on," Parker continued. "There's power lines down. There's buildings that have not been cleared as structurally sound."0comments
Although the prison closed in 1992 and has been kept off limits to the public, it has become a popular filming location. Along with serving in scenes for The Green Mile and Walk Line, it was also used in Ernest Goes to Jail, Against the Wall, Last Dance, and The Last Castle, as well as Eric Church's music videos "Lightning" and "Homeboy," Cage The Elephant's music video for "Cold Cold Cold," and Pillar's "Bring Me Down."
TDOC has also been affected by the overnight Tornado in middle Tennessee. These are photos of the damage from the site of the historic Tennessee State Prison. pic.twitter.com/Hs5NwmjvyV— Dept of Correction (@TNTDOC1) March 3, 2020
The prison is among the dozens of structures that suffered severe damage in the storm, with more than 40 buildings having collapsed. As a result, Tennessee has been placed under a Level 3 state of emergency. President Donald Trump is expected to visit the area on Friday.