Emergency officials said two people died and more than two dozen others were injured during the severe weather outbreak in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said up to 23 people were injured in McMinn County alone in the hard-hit southeastern portion of the state.
The National Weather Service in Morristown said its crews have confirmed a tornado touched down overnight near Athens in McMinn County. Meteorologist David Hotz said that tornado ranged from an EF-2 with winds up to 130 mph to and EF-3 with winds up to 152 mph, and its path on the ground stretched about five miles.
The weather service was still surveying damage in other areas including nearby Polk and Marion counties amid reports of several homes and buildings destroyed. Officials said a husband and wife were killed in Polk County.