On Monday night, March 2, a number of tornadoes hit Tennessee killing over 25 people and leaving over 30 missing. The tornadoes were caused by the collision of two very strong winds coming from the upper atmosphere. These winds created [wind shear] which makes a spin in the clouds creating a tornado.
They touched down causing serious damage in Nashville, Hermitage, Mount Juliet and Donelson, Tennessee. Over 100 buildings were destroyed and over 50,000 people’s power was knocked out. The tornadoes were said to have traveled a distance of over 50 miles.
They were the third occurrence of the most violent tornadoes in Tennessee, one happening in 1939, one in 1989 and now. However, these most recent tornadoes have been the most violent tornadoes in seven years because of the number of deaths. This was most-likely due to the fact that most people were asleep and unaware of the coming tragedy.
The tornadoes came in the middle of the night and at the beginning of Tuesday when the citizens were about to participate in Super Tuesday. Officials said that the tornadoes damaged more than 15 of the 169 polling places but people will all still vote.
Immediately after the tornadoes, the Tennessee National Guard was deployed and it is said by officials that there are over 12,000 more Guardsmen ready for deployment to work around the state. There have been emergency operations centers and emergency shelters for those who are injured or have lost their homes. Residents of destroyed homes have been told to stay off the road to avoid fallen power lines.
“The community has been devastated,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper wrote on Twitter. “My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones. Be sure to lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need, and let’s come together as a community once more.”
Workers in Tennessee will continue search and rescue operations and operating shelters across the state.