At least three people were killed when a powerful tornado struck northern Tennessee Saturday, officials said, amid a line of severe storms which raked the area.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that a child was among the three people killed. At least 23 others received treatment at local hospitals. The sheriff’s office noted it was “still in the search and rescue phase of this disaster.”

“We’ve been hit very hard by a tornado here in Clarksville and Montgomery County,” Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden said in a video posted to social media Saturday evening.

Police and firefighters in Clarksville were responding to multiple reports of damage in the northern part of the city, which is located north of Nashville near the Kentucky state line.

“We still have a lot of power lines down, there are a lot of areas that are unsafe,” Golden said.

Residents were asked to stay at home while first responders evaluated the situation. 

“We know there’s extensive damage throughout the community, so we need to take care of families who are desperately in need of help,” Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said in the video.

tornado tennessee
A tornado moves in the Clarksville, Tennessee area. Dec. 9, 2023. 

BrittneyBala17 via Storyful

The sheriff’s office said in an earlier statement that a tornado touched down around 2 p.m. local time and damaged several homes. 

A shelter was set up at a local high school.

According to utility tracker, more than 82,000 customers were without power in Tennessee. The Tennessee city of Springfield, located about 30 miles east of Clarksville, reported Saturday night that power was out to the entire city, and asked its residents to stay off the roads. 

The National Weather Service issued multiple tornado warnings in Tennessee, and said it planned to survey an area where an apparent tornado hit in Kentucky.

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