Washington, Mar 5:
Tornadoes ripped through Tennessee early Tuesday, leaving at least 25 people dead, destroying buildings and toppling power lines hours before the southern US state voted in Super Tuesday primaries.
Voting hours were extended due to the devastation the twisters wrought when they touched down shortly after midnight — rubble was strewn across the state capital Nashville.
Residents ran for their lives as their homes came down around them. Tens of thousands lost power to their homes, officials said.
Television broadcast showed cars piled up, hangars destroyed and what appeared to be dozens of aircraft smashed into each other at Nashville’s John C. Tune Airport.
The Nashville Police Department circulated aerial photographs of many buildings missing roofs and homes destroyed — standing next to houses that escaped damage.
“In the hours ahead, we will continue deploying search and rescue teams, opening shelters across the state, and sending emergency personnel to our communities hit hardest,” Governor Bill Lee wrote on Twitter.
Lee said late Tuesday that the toll had risen to 25 during the day.