Published January 13, 2015
Strong storms and tornadoes struck several western and central Tennessee towns Friday, tearing off roofs, knocking down power lines and causing other damage.
According to the Associated Press, officials have reported that severe storms have killed seven people in Tennessee.
At least two deaths were confirmed in Sumner County, northeast of Nashville, according to Eddie Boatwright of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. He did not have any more information about the victims.
The Weather Service in Louisville issued a tornado watch for 33 Kentucky counties. The watch is in effect until 9 p.m. EDT and includes Louisville.
In Tennessee, one tornado touched down in the south end of Benton County, according to one sheriff's department official. An emergency dispatcher said the twister hit the Holladay community, about 90 miles west of Nashville. FOX affiliate WKRN also reported a tornado touching down in Ashland City. Golf ball-sized hail was reported in some areas.
Doris Mays of the Cheatham County Emergency Management Agency said there were no injuries, but some property damage.
"We've got roofs off, trees down, lines down," she said. "There are a lot of people without power right now."
Emergency management officials had not had a chance to survey damage in Cheatham County, about 17 miles northwest of Nashville, before a second strong storm arrived, Mays said.
A police sergeant told WTVF-TV that a tornado touched down and damaged buildings along Main Street in the Nashville suburb of Goodlettsville. The officer said a church and K-Mart store were damaged, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.
A number of twisters were reported in the north part of Dickson County, Tenn. Dickson County Mayor Linda Frazier said some people had been injured, but she didn't yet know the extent.
Tennessee has been considered extremely vulnerable after a deadly outbreak of tornadoes swept through at least six counties earlier this week, leaving around 24 dead and 1,000 homes destroyed. There were at least 28 deaths across eight states affected by the deadly storms.
In Kentucky on Friday afternoon, officials say strong winds damaged homes along the Metcalfe-Barren county line in the southeastern part of the state.
State police say storms caused minor injuries, but officials continue to survey the damage.
Barren County Judge-Executive Davie Greer said that she has observed two homes that were completely destroyed by strong winds near state highway 90.
Officials with state emergency management said that they had received reports of several more damaged homes in the area.
Several "supercell" thunderstorms — deadly storms that bring massive destruction — with tornadoes were heading toward Nashville and central Tennessee, according to Accuweather.com. One confirmed tornado has been reported in Carroll County, Tenn., and over 40 reports of damaging hail have been received.
Tornado watches continue from Kentucky to Mississippi and Alabama; tornadic thunderstorms are expected to develop across Alabama and Mississippi Friday afternoon.
"Supercell" thunderstorms were also a possibility from Louisiana to Kentucky, and severe weather will spread as far east as Georgia and the Carolinas Friday night, according to Accuweather.com.
During the storms earlier this week, a trail of destroyed homes and buildings were left in their wake across Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas. Strong winds were blamed for at least three deaths in Missouri. A clothing store collapsed in southern Illinois, killing one man.
The storms developed after a cold front approaching from the West slammed into a mass of warm, humid air; reports indicated a swarm of 63 tornadoes touched down.
Some public schools were forced closed in Champaign, Ill., where power lines that had been sheared in half closed a four-lane thoroughfare on the city's south side.
The violent weather injured dozens of Arkansans and destroyed numerous homes and businesses. Gov. Mike Huckabee authorized the National Guard to help clean up the town of Marmaduke — where brick shells were all that remained of some houses. He also declared emergencies in Conway, Cross, Fulton, Greene, Hot Spring, Randolph, and White counties, which will allow residents to seek state aid.
In downtown Indianapolis, tornado-force winds shattered dozens of windows in an high-rise office building.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.