24 people, down from 77, unaccounted for following Tennessee tornadoes, officials say

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tornadoes blew through the middle Tennessee area leaving behind a wave of destruction. Multiple people are dead, according to officials.

FOX13 spoke with a Tennessee Emergency Management official who confirmed the death toll is now at 24. An earlier TEMA report had raised the number to 25, but that was later revised.

In Putnam County, one of the hardest hit areas of tornadoes overnight, officials have confirmed children are among at least 18 dead.

Officials said 24, down from 77, people are unaccounted for and released a list of names.

Preliminary reports indicate that an EF-3 tornado hit the state.

“Survey results so far: Mount Juliet (Wilson), at least EF-3 damage (155-160 mph). Donelson (Davidson), at least EF-3 damage (160-165 mph). This is just damage observed in these neighborhoods and it might possibly be the same tornado,” National Weather Service Nashville said.

Farther west in Benton and Carroll counties 2 EF-2 tornadoes were confirmed by the NWS.

Officials originally said nine people died Tuesday morning after tornadoes swept through Putnam, Benton, Wilson, and Davidson counties. Rescue efforts are currently underway for anyone who could be trapped under the rubble.

The first two deaths reported were in East Nashville. Another four were reported in Putnam County, followed by one in Benton County, and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed two deaths in Wilson County. Mt. Juliet Police also add one person is missing and crews continue to search through the rubble left behind in storms, WZTV said.

An additional 156 people have been transported to hospitals for injuries, WZTV said.

Tuesday night officials announced the Tennessee National Guard had been activated.

They will offer support to local police and respond to requests from state agencies.

The Mayor of Nashville is asking for anyone who wants to help or donate to follow these steps.

For those wanting to donate non-clothing items:

1) Community Resource Center at 218 Omohundro Place http://crcnashville.org

2) To volunteer: @HONashville

Mayor Jim Strickland said the Memphis Emergency Response teams are standing by to help if needed.

Airbnb is joining in the efforts to help.

They activated its Open Homes Program. The program allows hosts to provide free housing until March 24.

It is open to those in Nashville and the surrounding areas.

To find emergence housing visit: www.airbnb.com/tntornado20.

WZTV in Nashville flew a drone over the area. Watch the footage below:

FOX13 spoke to State Rep. Antonio Parkinson who was in Nashville during the powerful storms.