Deadly tornadoes destroy at least 140 buildings in Tennessee

Areas of Nashville that had undergone massive development in recent years were also slammed

A home destroyed by the tornado in Cookeville, Tennessee (Credit: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
A home destroyed by the tornado in Cookeville, Tennessee (Credit: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

At least 140 buildings were destroyed and 22 people killed after tornadoes tore through Tennessee early Tuesday, including parts of Nashville that have undergone a massive development boom in recent years.

Rubble from collapsed buildings, snapped power lines and broken trees shut down cities across the state, including stretches of downtown Nashville, Putnam County and Davidson County, according to the Associated Press. More than 44,000 customers lost power, Nashville Electric said.

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A group of severe storms from Alabama to western Pennsylvania caused the tornadoes, which did spare some of Nashville’s biggest institutions, such as the Grand Ole Opry House and the Ryman Auditorium.

Some of the properties damaged or destroyed were in East Nashville and Germantown, where a building boom has resulted in a number of new luxury residential and commercial developments. Rental rents have spiked 83 percent over the past decade in Nashville.

The tornadoes hit on Super Tuesday, shutting down more than 12 voting locations across the state for the presidential primary. Voters were sent to other locations. [AP] — Katherine Kallergis