Death toll rises to 25 after tornadoes hit Middle Tennessee

American flag among tornado damage in Putnam County / Source: WVLT
Published: Mar. 3, 2020 at 7:13 AM EST
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At least 25 people are dead after tornadoes swept through Middle Tennessee on the morning of March 3.

Putnam County officials said at least 18 people were killed, including some children, and 88 others were hurt. Two people were killed in Davidson County, and at least 156 people have been treated for injuries. One person was killed in Benton County with at least 25 homes damaged. Three people were killed in Wilson County, with one of the victims suffering a medical emergency during the tornado.

The NWS said one EF-4 tornado swept through Davidson, Wilson and Smith counties. It was on the ground for 60.13 miles. There were at least four tornadoes in Middle Tennessee total, the NWS said.

Putnam County

Officials said a tornado touched down around 2 a.m. between the city limits of Cookeville and Baxter. At least 18 people were killed and at least 88 injured. Officials said some of those injuries were critical and some people were transported to hospitals in Nashville. NWS


The NWS said an EF-4 tornado hit the area.


, March 4.

Mayor Randy Porter said a special morgue for tornado victims has been set up. Anyone looking for a family member is asked to call 931-646-INFO. Anyone needing help is asked to call 646-HELP.

Emergency shelters are currently established at the Cookeville Community Center, Putnam County YMCA, and Cookeville First Baptist Church.

Anyone who is searching for a displaced family member should go to The Church on the Hill at 3001 Phillips Cemetery Rd.

"We will have snacks, water, and coffee available for the families. If anyone is missing a family member, they need to meet at our church today. Algood Police Department and county officials will be available at our church today," said the church on Facebook.

According to the sheriff's office, the worst-hit areas include:

- Charleton Square

- Plunk Whitson

- Echo Valley

- Prosperity Point

- N. McBroom Chapel

- Double Springs Utility District

Sheriff Eddie Farris said several homes have been "flattened." Farris added that the area South of Buffalo Valley and north of Peach Orchard appears to be "okay," however, power is out in those areas.

First responders were going door-to-door to check on residents. They asked everyone to keep the roadways clear while they provide first aid, locate those affected and work on clearing the roads.

Davidson County

Two people were killed in East Nashville with at least 156 treated for injuries. WTVF reported more than 50,000 people woke up on Tuesday morning without power. Metro Nashville Schools were closed.


two deaths occurred near McFerrin Avenue. The victims were identified as 36-year-old Michael Dolfini and 33-year-old Albree Sexton. They were hit by debris as they were leaving Attaboy Lounge, where Dolfini worked.

Benton County

One person was killed in Benton County. Sheriff Kenny Christopher said a 67-year-old man was killed in the area of Ballard Road and Flatwoods Road. Two other injuries were reported.

At least 25 homes were damaged.

Wilson County

At least four people were killed in Wilson County. Multiple homes and buildings were damaged. The Mt. Juliet Police Department identified the victims as 84-year-old James Eaton and 81-year-old Donna Eaton at their home on Catalpa Dr. The third victim was identified as 38-year-old Brandy Barker. WTVF reported that a man was found dead in damage on Eastgate Boulevard on Wednesday.

Officials said of the four deaths, one victim suffered a medical emergency during the tornado. They said there are no outstanding reports of missing persons and all destroyed structures have been thoroughly searched.

How can you help?

Several East Tennessee organizations have begun gathering supplies.

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