Tornado Kills Three in Southern Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A tornado ripped through the small Amish community of Ethridge in southern Tennessee on Thursday, killing three and injuring at least 20.
The tornado also damaged 32 homes and destroyed the town’s utility building, knocking out power to the community of 550 about 70 miles southwest of Nashville. One-third of the roads in Lawrence County were closed.
No other details were immediately available.
The twister was one of at least 44 tornadoes that hit the state Thursday as storms moved across the Midwest and South with high winds and torrential rain, authorities said.
Earlier in the day a tornado slammed into a Nashville mall, injuring at least 19. It damaged about two dozen businesses and flipped cars and tractor-trailers.
``Believe me, it was terrifying,″ said Barb Draper, an employee at the mall. She said the inside of the mall suddenly became very windy and customers took cover by running into stores.
An apartment building about two miles from the mall was destroyed by the twister, which struck about noon.
Nashville Memorial Hospital reported 16 people were treated and released for minor injuries. Three people were admitted.
Tom Milligan was driving near the mall 10 miles north of downtown Nashville when the tornado struck.
``All at once the car went straight up in the air. I thought I was hit by a truck. Then I saw all the stuff flying in the air and I knew what it was,″ he said.
Elsewhere, tornadoes were reported in eastern Missouri, Texas and Kentucky, where 30 children were slightly injured when the roof was ripped off their school. High wind knocked out power to 25,000 customers in West Virginia.