Approximately 40 buildings across the Nashville area have collapsed after a tornado touched down in Middle Tennessee early Tuesday morning, leaving a path of destruction and at least nine people dead. As thousands remain without power, authorities are pleading with residents to remain indoors, with several shelters having opened for those displaced by the storms.
Among the collapsed buildings was a popular music venue that had just held an election rally for presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, according to the Tennessean. Those in attendance had left the venue just before the "tornado skipped across the county," striking and destroying the The Basement East.
Residents on social media are also reporting that popular spots like Burger Up, Molly Green, and The Soda Parlor were badly damaged or destroyed in the storms.
Officials for John Tune Airport, Nashville International's sister airport in West Nashville said in a statement that it suffered severe damage.
"John C. Tune Airport (JWN), BNA's sister airport in West Nashville, sustained significant damage due to severe weather earlier this morning," the statement read, according to the Tennessean. "There were no reported injuries. Several hangars have been destroyed, and power lines are down. In the interest of safety, the public is advised to avoid John C. Tune until further notice. The Airport Authority has activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the response."
Elsewhere in Davidson County, images showed Donelson Christian Elementary collapsed. Many schools in the area have been closed for the day. Wilson County has closed schools for the rest of the week.
Among the areas outside of Nashville hardest hit was Mount Juliet.0comments
"Our community has been greatly impacted by a tornado," Cpt. Tyler Chandler of the Mount Juliet Police Department said, the Tennessean reports. "There are multiple homes damaged and multiple people injured. 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."