Tornadoes rip through Tennessee - killing at least six people

Tornadoes rip through Tennessee - killing at least six people

Severe storms and tornadoes have killed at least six people in Tennessee.

Homes and businesses have suffered extensive damage, with tens of thousands of people losing power.

Officials in Montgomery County, north of Nashville, say 23 people have been injured – and a child is among those who died.

Photos posted by the Clarksville Fire Department showed damaged houses with debris strewn in the lawns, a tractor trailer flipped on its side, and insulation ripped out of building walls.

Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said: “This is devastating news and our hearts are broken for the families of those who lost loved ones.

“The city stands ready to help them in their time of grief.”

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said he was praying for all who had been affected by the storms.

Shanika Washington said that – as soon as she heard the storm sirens going off in her neighborhood – she took her children, aged 5 and 10, to a windowless bathroom in the basement of her townhouse.

“The lights were flickering, so I knew it was somewhere close in the vicinity,” she said. “I just kept praying to God as it was going on. It was very terrifying and scary.”

They were in the bathroom for 20 minutes – with Ms Washington hovering over her children as a protective shield.

“The back door absolutely did fly open, and you just heard a bunch of wind,” she said. “The blinds and stuff were shaking really bad. I could tell that we were dead smack in the middle of a storm.”