Dozens Missing in Tennessee After Deadly Tornado Kills at Least 24

COOKEVILLE, TN - MARCH 03: Detail view of a family photograph and license plate in debris near an apartment complex on March 3, 2020 in Cookeville, Tennessee. A tornado passed through the Nashville area just after midnight leaving a wake of damage in its path including 22 people dead, at …
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Dozens of people remain unaccounted for in Tennessee’s hard-hit Putnam County, with 22 residents in the area listed as missing.

Of the multiple tornadoes that tore through Tennessee, 24 people died and 18 of them were Putnam County residents. Five of those residents were children under the age of 13.

The tornadoes touched down Tuesday shortly after midnight, swirling through Nashville and its surrounding cities while taking down power lines and demolishing homes and other buildings.

Officials said some of those killed were asleep in their beds.

“It hit so fast, a lot of folks didn’t have time to take shelter,” Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter told reporters Tuesday. “Many of these folks were sleeping.”

Nashville resident James Duncan said he heard a “howling” noise in the middle of the night along with sirens.

“Things started hitting the window, and my girlfriend and I shot out of bed and darted for the bathroom. We could hear objects slamming against the building…it was terrifying,” Duncan told ABC News. “They say tornadoes sound like a train…they were not lying. The feeling in my head from the pressure was insane. I’ve never felt anything like it. We were shaking.”

The twisters also left a local airport in West Nashville decimated, although nobody was injured.

The number of missing in Putnam County was initially 77, but that number has gone down as officials have canvassed door-to-door to account for residents.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has declared a state of emergency in the state to tap emergency funds to help rebuild from the devastation.

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