Tornadoes have ripped through the U.S. state of Tennessee, killing at least 22 people and causing extensive damage.
Video captured one of the tornadoes moving through downtown Nashville early Tuesday accompanied by occasional flashes of lightning, turning buildings to rubble. Emergency officials say they responded to reports of at least 40 structure collapses throughout the city.
As recovery efforts began at daybreak, crews were forced to grapple with torn off roofs, heavily damaged walls and downed power lines and trees. Authorities closed schools, courts, the state Capitol, transit lines and the airport.
Officials opened several emergency shelters to house residents who were forced out of their homes, one of them a farmer’s market on the outskirts of downtown.
The tornado also destroyed several hangars at a small municipal airport in west Nashville as it made its way into downtown. At least two of the deaths occurred in Nashville.
President Donald Trump said he plans to visit affected areas in the state on Friday.
«We’re working with the leaders of Tennessee, including their great Governor Bill Lee, to make sure everything is done properly. [The Federal Emergency Management Agency] FEMA is already on the ground and I will be going there on Friday. Our hearts are full of sorrow for the lives that were lost,» Trump said Tuesday.
The aftermath of the tornadoes affected voting in Tennessee, which is one of 14 states that are part of the so-called «Super Tuesday» primaries. Some polling stations were damaged, prompting closures at two high schools in Wilson County, while others