Clarksville, Tennessee, faced catastrophic destruction on Saturday as a tornado tore through the city, leaving a trail of devastation. Luigis Pizza, along with several other structures, was completely destroyed. The tornado, touching down before 2 p.m., resulted in three confirmed deaths, including one child, and left 23 others injured, according to Montgomery County government.

Homes in Clarksville suffered extensive damage, with the tornado concentrating its impact on the north side of town. Multiple structures were destroyed, leading to an active search for people who may be trapped or injured. Clarksville Police, Fire Rescue, and Montgomery County EMS responded to numerous locations due to the widespread damage.

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The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office confirmed damage to several houses in the Hand Estates area near Garrettsburg Road. A shelter was set up at Northeast High School, providing refuge for those affected by the disaster.

Vincent Welshman, a witness, described the tornado’s ominous sound, resembling a train going down tracks. While he escaped damage to his home, his neighbors were not as fortunate. The Garrettsburg Estates neighborhood bore the brunt of the storm, emphasizing the importance of heeding emergency warnings.

Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts and Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden addressed the community, acknowledging the tragedy and pledging support for those affected. The governors and mayors urged residents to stay home and off the roads, allowing first responders space to manage emergency calls.

Utility companies worked diligently to restore power to thousands in the affected area, with over 25,000 still without power by the evening. Clarksville’s electric utility, CDE Lightband, and Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation reported significant outages but made progress in restoring services.

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The National Weather Service had issued tornado warnings for various areas in Middle Tennessee, including Clarksville, Nashville, Madison, Hendersonville, and Gallatin. The tornado watch remained in effect until 9 p.m. for select Middle Tennessee counties. Authorities advised residents to shelter in place and stay off roadways to minimize risks posed by downed power lines and debris.

As strong to severe thunderstorms continued to threaten Middle Tennessee until 11 p.m., the community grappled with the aftermath of a day that brought unexpected devastation and sorrow. The incident underscores the unpredictable and destructive nature of tornadoes, highlighting the importance of preparedness and community support during such crises.