The twister that ripped through eastern Tennessee early Tuesday with terrifying 165 mile per hour winds left total devastation in its wake, killing some as they slept in their beds. The death toll has risen to 24.
"It is heartbreaking," said Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. "We have had loss of life all across the state."
Dozens of buildings and homes were destroyed by the high winds and rescuers are searching for people still unaccounted for.
Survivors have been sharing harrowing accounts of the experience.
"The windows had been blown out, the doors had been blown open and our neighbor had been ejected from his house and into our yard," said one resident.
Cleanup crews are working to remove trees and power lines from the streets. Tens of thousands are without power and many are homeless from multiple tornadoes that roared through the state leaving a path of destruction across Nashville, with homes, businesses and schools totally shredded.
One local church was completely flattened.
"I mean we've been through lots of tornado warnings, never thought that this would happen," a resident named Laura said. "It's just shock. It's like a war zone."
The deadly storms hit as Tennesseans prepared to vote in Super Tuesday primaries. State officials kept some polling places open late.
Stories of hope have been emerging from the disaster. A seven-year-old boy was trapped by downed power lines outside his home. Firefighters rushed to carry him to safety.
New storms are forecast to move through the area as survivors work to pick up the pieces and look to rebuild their communities.
Meanwhile, President Trump is set to travel to the region Friday.