Powerful storms flip cars, decimate homes; 2 dead
At a shopping center in Mount Juliet, large sheets of metal littered the parking lot and light poles were knocked down.
One wall of a Dollar General store collapsed, and the roof was torn off.
Mark Fulks Jr. runs Mark’s Automotive with his father in a building attached to the Dollar General. The garage door was blown off his shop and sitting on one of the cars inside, and Fulks said several of the cars they were working on had their windshields blown out.
A distribution center for The Tennessean newspaper also had severe damage. Rick Martin, who bags the newspapers and helps his wife deliver them, was shocked when he saw what was left. The metal frame of the building still stood, but its cinderblock walls had crumbled, and papers and plastic bags littered the trees.
‘‘We feel real lucky,’’ he said Wednesday morning as he looked at the damage. ‘‘I would have hated to be in here when this happened.’’
The deaths ended the nation’s longest break between tornado fatalities since detailed records began being kept in 1950, according to the Storm Prediction Center and National Climatic Data Center. The last one was June 24 in Florida. That was 220 days ago as of Tuesday.
The last day with multiple fatalities was June 4, when three people were killed in Missouri.
Associated Press writers Kristin M. Hall in Mount Juliet, Tenn., and Phillip Lucas in Atlanta contributed to this report.