Storm waves are becoming deadly in Tennessee, with more severe weather hitting the state as night approaches



Fierce storms moving across the central and eastern United States on Wednesday killed at least one person, and as night approached, tens of thousands of Tennessee residents braced for the impact of tornadoes.

Officials were still assessing the damage Wednesday evening, but the National Weather Service said there were four tornado reports in Tennessee. Two of the reports came from Maury County, where a tornado emergency was in effect.

According to the National Weather Service, there was a “confirmed large and destructive tornado” near the town of Spring Hill around 5:50 p.m. CT.

The storms have already proven deadly in Tennessee, with one fatality reported Wednesday morning.

The dangerous weather comes just a day after violent tornadoes and storms ripped through southwest Michigan, destroying homes and businesses and injuring several residents.

Here's the latest on the ongoing storms and destruction in Tennessee and Michigan:

• Storms become deadly: One person died in Claiborne County, Tennessee, when a tree fell on their car during severe storms, according to the county's emergency management agency. The person has not been identified. Since Wednesday morning, there have been dangerous storms with devastating winds, large hail and tornado warnings in several states.

• Mobile home park hit by tornado: More than a dozen people were injured after a tornado hit a mobile home park in Pavilion Township in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, on Tuesday, according to a city official. According to county emergency management spokesman Andrew Alspach, 15 to 20 people suffered minor injuries and were transported to two area hospitals.

Chicago and Midwest Storm Chasers

Homes were damaged following a tornado at Pavilion Estate Mobile Home Park in Kalamazoo County, Michigan on Tuesday.

A Michigan city may have been hit twice: At least one tornado, possibly two, struck Portage Tuesday evening as the area faced two tornado warnings in just over an hour, the National Weather Service said. According to city officials, homes and businesses in the city sustained significant damage, but there were no serious injuries. A tornado ripped a large hole in a FedEx facility. A spokesperson for the Kalamazoo County Administrative Office told that about 50 people were trapped at the facility for several hours. CNN was unable to verify this report. Portage Public Safety Director Nicholas Armold later said that all employees were accounted for when emergency responders arrived.

Damage was reported in at least two other Michigan counties: According to St. Joseph County Undersheriff Jason Bingaman, several homes and businesses were destroyed Tuesday after a possible tornado touched down in Centerville. The storm damage ripped off roofs and “completely leveled” houses, Bingaman told CNN. At least seven homes were destroyed in nearby Branch County, according to Emergency Management Director Tim Miner.

First tornado emergency in Michigan: Parts of Branch County, including Union City, were hit by Michigan's first tornado emergency as “a large and destructive tornado” struck the area Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Tornado emergencies are the most extreme tornado warnings and are only issued when a tornado threatens catastrophic damage and loss of life, often in a populated area.

Chaotic storm track: April through June is the most active time for tornadoes in the United States, and May is typically the busiest month. This year was no exception. At least one tornado has been reported in the U.S. every day since April 25, a streak of 13 days and counting. According to the Storm Prediction Center, nearly 300 tornado reports were filed during that period – at least two of which were confirmed EF4 tornadoes.


Homes were damaged by a tornado on Tuesday at Pavilion Estate Mobile Home Park in Kalamazoo County, Michigan.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, nearly 4 million people are at risk of severe Category 4 out of 5 thunderstorms on Wednesday. That risk includes parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee – including Nashville.

Another 50 million people from Texas, across much of the Ohio Valley and into the Mid-Atlantic face a level 2 out of 5 or 3 out of 5 risk.

Severe storms with damaging winds, hail larger than baseball balls and tornado warnings have been raging across several states since Wednesday morning.

Additional storms could flare up from the Southern Plains to the Mid-Atlantic into the overnight hours. Storms with the strongest winds and largest hail are most likely from Texas to Kentucky and Tennessee, but any storm can produce damaging wind gusts and hail up to the size of softballs.

Parts of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee are at greatest risk of strong tornadoes through Wednesday night.

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Some areas that experienced a first round of severe storms early Wednesday are at risk of another round of severe storms later in the day – Tennessee is a prime example.

The repeated storms on Wednesday also caused torrential rain and increased the risk of flooding.

“The greatest flash flood threat also overlaps with the threat of severe thunderstorms concentrated in Kentucky and Tennessee and portions of neighboring states,” the National Weather Service said. According to the Weather Prediction Center, there is a level 3 out of 4 flood risk here.

Rainfall rates could reach 5 cm per hour, which could dramatically increase the risk of flash flooding. Locations hit by multiple severe storms could see more than 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 centimeters) of rain.

Don Reid/Coldwater Reporter/USA Today Network

Two of the homes on Arney Road in Sherwood Township were destroyed by a tornado Tuesday evening.