UPDATED 7:40 p.m. ET: The AP has since raised the confirmed death toll from 22 to 25. They're also reporting that 140 buildings were "shredded" by the storms, and that things developed so quickly that people who were in the path of the destruction didn't have time to flee to safer areas.
A state of emergency has been declared and the National Guard has been assisting in search-and-rescue efforts. An unspecified amount of people are still missing.
See original story below.
Multiple deaths and extensive property damage has been reported after a tornado hit Nashville overnight.
At the time of this writing, per the Associated Press, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) had confirmed the deaths of at least 22 people due to the tornadoes-producing storms in multiple parts of the state. A tornado that hit downtown Nashville stayed on the ground into Hermitage, which is approximately 10 miles east of the city, with the Germantown and Mt. Juliet areas also sustaining "extensive damage."
More than 44,000 people had been affected by power outages as of Tuesday morning, per Nashville Electric. As a result of the storms, Metro Nashville Public School will be closed on Tuesday, while schools in Wilson County will be closed for the remainder of the week. The Nashville Fire Department has confirmed at least 40 collapsed structures around the city.
TEMA said Tuesday morning that specific details on damages and injuries remains unknown, with Emergency Service Coordinators and liaisons with multiple state departments and non-governmental organizations coordinating on response actions and damage assessments.
"Starting on Mar. 2, a line of severe storms passed through Tennessee and has caused major damage to buildings, roads, bridges, utilities, and businesses in several counties," a TEMA rep said in a news release. "Tornado damage has been reported throughout West and Middle Tennessee including downtown Nashville, TN. Multiple fatalities have been reported and the number of injuries is unknown. The total number of business and residents without power is unknown. The exact extent of damage is also unknown."
TEMA has asked residents to refrain from using their phones or calling 911 unless doing so to report a life-threatening emergency. Furthermore, people have been requested to avoid driving so that the streets and roads can stay as clear as possible for emergency officials.