BREAKING: Tennessee Tornado Kills at Least 22, Trump Issues Statement

This story is developing.

CBS reports Tornadoes touched down across Tennessee Tuesday, killing at least 22 people and leaving an undetermined number missing, according to authorities. Tennessee is now under a state of emergency.

The death toll was nine Tuesday morning but jumped to 22 by midday, as bodies were recovered from fallen buildings, according to Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

There are a number of people still missing across the state, according to officials. They would not provide a number of the missing on Tuesday morning, as search and rescue crews are still working. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said at a press conference that the number of fatalities will likely increase by the end of the day.

“Last night is a reminder of how fragile life is,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said at the press conference.

The devastation comes on the same day that Tennessee participates in the Super Tuesday presidential primary, when more than 30% of all delegates will be awarded. Officials said at a press conference Tuesday that the tornadoes damaged 15 out of 169 polling places.

Just hours before voting is set to begin, the state’s election commission has created alternative places for people assigned to the damaged polling locations to vote. Officials encouraged residents to check whether their polling place is affected.

The tornadoes destroyed at least 48 buildings, and have left about 50,000 customers without power, according to officials. One tornado ripped through downtown Nashville, and hit the city’s CBS affiliate WTVF directly.

A video posted online from east Nashville showed what appeared to be a well-defined funnel moving quickly across the city. Lightning repeatedly flashed while much of the city was in the dark. The whir of the wind could be heard gusting after the tornado moved out of sight.

UPDATED:

President Trump has issued a statement via a video on Twitter.

Per USAToday, President Donald Trump said he will travel to Tennessee on Friday to review recovery efforts from the “horrible” and “very vicious” tornadoes that killed at least 21 people.

“We’re working with the leaders in Tennessee,” Trump told the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference in a speech Tuesday that included discussion of his efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Proclaiming that the federal government will help Tennessee recover, Trump described tornadoes as “vicious,” and said: “If you’re in their path, bad things happen. Really bad things happen.”