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21 still missing after Tuesday tornadoes that ravaged Middle Tennessee

Dozens still missing after Tuesday tornadoes that ravaged Middle Tennessee
Posted at 8:38 AM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 10:58:23-05

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — More than a day after 24 people were killed and hundreds more injured in a series of severe storms and tornadoes in the areas surrounding Nashville, 21 people are still missing.

The 21 missing people — five of whom are children — are all from Putnam County, located east of downtown Nashville. The county was one of the hardest hit areas of the storms Tuesday morning, with 18 people already pronounced dead in the county. Eighty-eight people in the county were treated for injuries relating to the storm.

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office said they've searched about 60% of the area, and they've been checking places all night that were in the tornado's path.

Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris said there's a possibility that officials could find some missing people when they launch a particular area Wednesday morning.

"An approximately 20-acre field that is located between Echo Valley Estates and North McBroom Chapel Road. That area is a field area that is marshy, that is 6 or 7 feet tall. It's a slow process. The way the tornado traveled, there's a lot of debris down there," Farris said.

The clean-up efforts are going to take quite some time. Fifteen law enforcement agencies are teaming up to help out for the next few days. They are hoping to have all demolished structures checked-out by the end of the day Wednesday.

Officials identified the missing people as:

Rachel Baughman
Katherine Julian
Penny Penelope Cole
Dwight Gentry
David Phillips
Maureen Langford & Andi Otis
Tommy Knight
Robin & Bethany Babb
Joey Dedemicis
Joe Murphy Jr
Denton Nelson
Douglas Loftis
Rick Stegill
Ryan Packinghan
Steven Mayo
Karissa Solberg
Breanna Shelby
Joyce Wilson
Cleburn Rice

Anyone searching for a loved one can call the county helpline at 931-646-4630. Anyone who would like to volunteer can email officials at helpnow@putnamcountytn.gov.

This story was originally published by Laken Bowles on WTVF in Nashville.