Tornado crosses through downtown Nashville; Widespread damage reported

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Middle Tennessee was hit by at least an EF-3 tornado early Tuesday morning after severe storms moved through the area.

The National Weather Service surveyed the area and determined Mount Juliet experienced winds between 155-160 mph while Donelson sustained winds of 160-165 mph. This is just damage observed in these neighborhoods and it might possibly be the same tornado, according to the NWS.

The tornado passed through downtown Nashville around 1 a.m. The path of the storm traveled almost exactly to a 1998 tornado that hit East Nashville.

Some of the hardest-hit areas in the storm include Centennial Blvd and Briley Parkway in West Nashville, where there were reports of heavy damage to planes at John C. Tune Airport. Several hangars have been destroyed and power lines are down. The public is advised to say away from John C. Tune until further notice.

Overturned tractor-trailers littered the interstates on Interstate 24 near Antioch and Interstate 40 near Mt. Juliet. Lanes of Interstate 40 are shut down from Mt. Juliet to Lebanon.

Metro Nashville Public Schools are closed Tuesday.

Longtime businesses such as Basement East in East Nashville and Jack Brown’s in Germantown were flattened. Five Points neighborhood in East Nashville is reportedly half-destroyed.

Officials confirm at least nine people have been killed so far across the area.

RELATED: At least 9 killed after tornado strikes Middle Tennessee

Nashville EOC was partially activated Tuesday morning to respond to emergency calls and damage following the severe weather. Representatives from OEM, Nashville Fire Department, Mayor’s Office, Metropolitan Police Department, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Water Services, Metro Storm Water, Metro Public Works, Emergency CommunicationsMetro Nashville Public Schools, Metro ITS, Planning/GIS Department, Metro Codes, Engineers as well as NES are gathering in the EOC to monitor damage reports and respond to emergency calls around the county.

RELATED: More than 47,000 people without power in Middle Tennessee

Nashville Mayor John Cooper told News 2 at least 20 people have been hospitalized following the storms.

“This does feel like a longer strip of the damage than the one 20 years ago, but I think you’re really going to need daylight to survey property damage,” explained Mayor Cooper.

Mayor Cooper said he will request assistance on both federal and state levels.

A press conference in Nashville is set for 8 a.m.

SEE ALSO: Super Tuesday polling locations impacted by severe weather

WeGo Public Transit tells News 2 that Music City Star service is suspended due to power lines down on the tracks. Bus service will continue as long as roads are passable, but riders should expect delays.

Mt. Juliet was also hard hit with multiple people reportedly injured and multiple homes damaged.

An emergency shelter with running water is open for residents displaced by the storms at Nashville Farmer’s Market on 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd in Nashville.

RELATED: Shelters open for storm victims across Middle Tennessee

Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton reports multiple homes were damaged and several people were injured in that area.

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