Schools in and around Nashville remain closed after a destructive and fast-moving storm cut across Middle Tennessee on Tuesday.
The Tennessee Department of Military announced there were 24 confirmed storm-related deaths as of 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday morning. Approximately 40,000 people were also without power. Tennessee remained under a State of an Emergency.
Davidson, Wilson and Putnam counties were among the hardest-hit counties in Tennessee by the storm that descended Tuesday morning.
Wilson County Schools in Lebanon, Tennessee, located east of Nashville, was already scheduled to be closed on Tuesday, but officials said it will be closed for the remainder of the week due to the severity of damage from the storm. Several of the buildings were left destroyed. Classrooms are without roofs and debris is scattered everywhere.
Two district schools, West Wilson Middle School and Stoner Creek Elementary School, were reportedly in the direct path of the storm. School officials took to Twitter and Facebook to inform the community of shelters available to the public.
It’s a day we’ll never forget. But it’s also a day where our cup of thankfulness overflows that this weather disaster did not happen during a school day. Thank you to all the kind words of encouragement, thoughts/prayers that have been sent to us!❤️#WilsonStrong #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/xJhYhK3J0p
— WilsonK12Tn (@WilsonK12Tn) March 4, 2020
Metro Nashville Public Schools also announced a systemwide closure on Tuesday and Wednesday, due to the damage and ongoing power outages. Before and after school childcare programs are all after-school activities were canceled or postponed.
District officials announced that the local YMCA will continue to operate its childcare programs at select sites throughout Nashville. The school district is also operating a volunteer resource center at East Nashville High School, where employees who wish to help assist families and fellow staff can report.
The location is also accepting school supplies, canned food goods, school attire and other items that would be beneficial during the emergency.
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“Nashville is in a great time of need, with many of our staff and families working to rebuild after the devastating storm damage,” Adrienne Battle, interim director of Metro Schools, stated in a press release on Tuesday. “Our people, whether employees, students, or their families, are the heart of MNPS, and this is an opportunity for us to come together and show our love. I’m encouraging all staff and community volunteers who are in a position to assist, to join me in coming together and lending a helping hand.”
Several other school districts throughout Tennessee reported closings through Wednesday, some through the remainder of the week.