North Carolina man reported missing in devastating Nashville tornadoes

NASHVILLE, TN (WTVD) -- At least 24 people are dead from tornadoes that hit Tennessee earlier this week, leaving towns in ruin and the state's citizens in despair.

While the communities are grieving those who died, authorities and local agencies are searching for dozens of people who are missing or unaccounted for. The storms ravaged several neighborhoods and toppled over businesses in the middle of the night. The national guard has been deployed to help with the recovery effort and search for those still missing.

Crews are combing through piles of rubble for survivors. At one point, Putnam County officials said they were trying to find 77 people.

At least one of the people reported missing was from North Carolina. Mt. Juliet Police Department said Wednesday morning it was trying to find Benjamin Charles Fitch of North Carolina. He was found hours later safe in Knoxville.

Initial surveys logged the damage as coming from a EF-3 tornado in east Nashville and Mt. Juliet, a town about 20 miles east. In Nashville's Germantown neighborhood, apartment buildings and multi-story structures were shredded, with bricks, glass and building materials strewn everywhere.

"Piles of rubble and the devastation of buildings and neighborhoods, that behind every pile really represents people." Gov. Bill Lee. "It's businesses lost, it's families that are hurting. It's people that have really seen the destruction of this."

"There are missing people," Lee said. "There are still people that are still unaccounted for."

President Trump is planning to visit the area on Friday.

"Our hearts are full of sorrow for the lives that were lost," Trump said. "It's a vicious thing those tornadoes."
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