23 hurt after EF-2 tornado in eastern TN

Athens Tennessee tornado damage
(From: WATE)

ATHENS (WATE) – The National Weather Service says an EF-2 tornado touched down in eastern Tennessee early Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service in Morristown is estimating the McMinn County tornado as an EF-2 tornado with winds from 111-135 miles per hour. The damage assessment is still ongoing.

The McMinn County Sheriff’s chief deputy says there was significant damage to homes in Deerfield Estates on SR-307. At least 23 people were injured. Authorities tell WATE one of the people injured was pregnant. A tree fell on her. There is no information on the extent of her injuries.

McMinn County, Etowah City and Athens school districts are closed for the day. Cleveland State Community College is closed today.

McMinn County Mayor John Gentry is asking volunteers to not come to the area in order to allow emergency operations to take place. The county says the many areas are too dangerous due to dowmed power lines. Monroe County is providing ambulance and fire assistance to McMinn County.

School buses are preparing to transport displaced residents to a safer area. The Red Cross has created a shelter at Keith Memorial United Methodist Church.

Tennessee Department of Health confirmed that two people died in the state, a husband and wife in Polk County. There were injuries in Polk, Marion and McMinn counties.

A tornado destoryed the Ocoee Post Office in Benton, Tennessee. Also, the West Polk Fire Department was damaged during the storms in Polk County, according to WTVC. There was several damage to buildings and downed power lines in Bedford, Marion, Bradley, Coffee, Franklin and Sequatchie counties. Three people were injured in Marion County.

Three people in northern Alabama were killed after a possible tornado.

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