Tornadoes ripped across Tennessee on Tuesday, shredding at least 40 buildings and killing at least 25 people. One caused severe damage across downtown Nashville, destroying the stained glass in a historic church and leaving hundreds of people homeless.
The storm hit after midnight and moved so quickly that many people sleeping didn’t have time to take shelter, US media reports.
President Donald Trump has said he plans to visit the state on Friday.
Much of the damage is centred in Putnam County – 80 miles (130km) east of Nashville – where 19 deaths have been reported so far.
In Wilson County, three people are reported to have died, as well as two people in Davidson County and one in Benton.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper said the city was “devastated”, and urged people to “lend a helping hand” to neighbours.
Around 150 injured people were taken to medical facilities, Mayor Cooper said.
Daybreak revealed a landscape littered with blown-down walls and roofs, snapped power lines and huge broken trees, leaving city streets in gridlock. Schools, courts, transit lines, an airport and the state Capitol were closed, and some damaged polling stations had to be moved only hours before Super Tuesday voting began.
The disaster affected voting in Tennessee, one of 14 Super Tuesday states. Some polling sites in Nashville’s Davidson County were moved, and sites there as well as in Wilson counties were opening an hour late but still closing at the same time, Secretary of State Tre Hargett announced.