Deadly tornado tears through Nashville

Buildings ripped open and debris left scattered across roads by an early morning tornado that swept through Nashville Tuesday, leaving at least nineteen people dead.

The fatalities included people in Putnam, Wilson and Benton Counties, and the state capital Nashville. Firefighters reported around 40 buildings had collapsed around the city.

A journalist for a local CBS affiliate captured the moment the storm struck.

(UPSOUND REPORTER)"There it is. Go inside!"

Nashville Electric reported more than 40 thousand people were without power after the storm, as emergency crews searched for victims possibly trapped in the debris.

Officials opened up emergency shelters after the early morning storm took some by surprise.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. CHRIS CORLEY, SAYING:

"I just talked to the couple that lives next door and said they were still trapped....It was a blinding rain and I don't see how anybody could have seen it."

Tennessee is one of 14 states that will vote on Tuesday in the contest to choose a Democratic nominee to stand against President Donald Trump in November. Voting was expected to proceed, though some polling places said they opened later than planned.