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9 confirmed dead after tornado hits McNairy County, Tennessee

McNairy County Mayor Larry Smith declared a state of emergency on Saturday.

MCNAIRY COUNTY, Tenn. — Nine people are dead after storms damaged McNairy County, Tennessee on March 31st, according to the McNairy County Sheriff's Office.

The tornado slammed the towns of Bethel Springs and Adamsville just after 11 p.m., hours after a weaker tornado touched down in the county.

Much of the Mid-South was under a rare level 5 out of 5 risk for severe weather on Friday night. The area had not been under a severe weather risk this high since 2011. Strong storms continued to move throughout the Mid-South into the early morning hours of April 1. 

Multiple tornado watches and warnings were issued for parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi and several tornadoes were visually confirmed by trained spotters. 

McNairy County Mayor Larry Smith declared a state of emergency on Saturday. 

"Please keep all responders in your prayers as response continues and we move into recovery from this disaster," a statement from the McNairy County EMA read.

The county EMA also urged the public to be safe when traveling in the county as trees are still down in some areas. 

The Adamsville Police Department in McNairy County urged community members to reach out to them "to help our neighbors in this time of need." They also encouraged specific streets and neighborhoods in needs to post in the comments section of their Facebook post.

The damage and loss that our community suffered last night was catastrophic. We send our condolences to all of those who...

Posted by Adamsville Police Department, TN on Saturday, April 1, 2023

A Tornado Warning had been in effect for the county for about 30 minutes before the tornado hit.

Four people are also confirmed dead in Wynne, Arkansas due to powerful tornadoes that damaged the town Friday night, according to Cross County Coroner, Eli Long. 

The storms also hit Covington, Tennessee, where Tipton County Schools confirmed significant damage to Crestview Elementary and Middle Schools, and the Tipton County Hospital. 

Damage to infrastructure, including power lines, left some of the roads leading to Covington impassable on Friday night, according to the Covington Police Department Facebook page

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