At least two adults and a child died Saturday after a tornado touched down in Clarksville, in Montgomery County, Tennessee, local authorities reported.
Some 23 people have been taken to hospitals for medical attention. Authorities indicated that they are still in the search and rescue phase, so more victims are not ruled out as more information is obtained.
Social media users shared images and videos of the destruction left by the phenomenon.
Clarksville police and firefighters responded to multiple reports of damage in the northern part of the city, which is north of Nashville near the Kentucky state line. Photos posted by the local fire department on social media showed damaged homes with debris strewn across the lawn, a tractor-trailer flipped on its side on a road, and the insulation of the building's walls ripped off.
"This is devastating news and our hearts go out to the families of those who lost loved ones," Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said in a statement. "The city stands ready to help them in their time of grief."
No further information on the victims was available Saturday.
A car ends up in a pile of debris after a tornado passes through in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on Dec. 9, 2023.ANDREW NELLES/USA TODAY NETWORK / via REUTERS
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that a tornado touched down around 2 p.m. local time. The statement said no injuries or missing people had been confirmed, but search efforts continued in the area.
A shelter was set up at a local high school.
Residents were also asked to stay home while first responders assessed the situation. In a briefing shared on social media, Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said there was extensive damage.
"So please, if you need help, call 911 and help will be on the way right away. But if you can, stay home. Don't hit the roads. Our first responders need time and space," he added.
Clarksville city spokesman Jimmy Settle said in an email that he had no further information on the number of structures damaged or possibly injured.
About 85,000 customers were without power in Tennessee Saturday night, according to PowerOutage.us.
The storm came nearly two years after the National Weather Service recorded 41 tornadoes in a handful of states, including 16 in Tennessee and eight in Kentucky. A total of 81 people died in Kentucky alone.