20231210 tennessee
A business destroyed by a tornado on West Main in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Image Credit: AP

Washington: Tornadoes and severe weather on Saturday churned across the US state of Tennessee, heavily damaging homes, causing blackouts and leaving at least six people dead, authorities said.

Three of the deaths occurred in a northern suburb of Nashville, capital of the southeastern US state.

The Nashville Office of Emergency Management posted photos on social media showing downed trees and shattered homes.

"Unfortunately we can confirm there are 3 fatalities as a result of the severe weather on Nesbitt Lane," the office posted on X, formerly Twitter.

A tornado touched down in Clarksville in the northern part of the state, leaving fatalities there as well.

"We can confirm that three people are deceased, two adults and one child," the Montgomery County government said in a statement.

"Additionally, 23 people have been treated at the hospital," it said.

First responders are "still in the search and rescue phase of this disaster," it said, asking residents to stay off the roads.

Some 86,000 customers reported power outages in the state, according to poweroutage.us, a tracking site.

News photos showed rows of homes blown down by fierce winds, crumpled trees, overturned vehicles and toppled power lines.