A 7th Person in Tennessee Has Died Due to Tornado-Producing Storms

By Jonathan Mattise | December 21, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) __ A seventh person in Tennessee has died from injuries she suffered during a string of powerful storms earlier this month that whipped up destructive tornadoes, according to police.

Penny Scroggins, a 78-year-old from Clarksville, died Saturday after she was hospitalized with injuries she sustained when the tornado ripped through the city on Dec. 9, said Clarksville Police Department spokesperson Scott Beaubien. Three others died due to the tornado as well, including a 10-year-old.

Another three people died after a different tornado tore through the Madison section of Nashville later that day.

Scroggins, who was born in Muncie, Indiana, was remembered as a wonderful mother and grandmother who was kind-hearted and never met a stranger.

“She loved watching sports, working, and spending time with her family,” her obituary says. “Penny was loved by so many and her family will miss the way she lit up a room with her smile.”

The tornado that hit Clarksville, Tennessee, also injured 62 others, while destroying 114 homes and causing major damage to 268 others. The twister registered as an EF3, with peak winds of 150 mph (241 kph), the weather service office in Nashville announced. It was on the ground for more than an hour, traveling 43 miles (69 kilometers) across Montgomery County, Tennessee, and Todd and Logan counties in Kentucky. At its widest point the tornado’s path was 600 yards (550 meters).

The tornado that struck the Madison neighborhood and also raked Hendersonville and Gallatin was an estimated EF2, with winds of 125 mph (201 kph), the weather service said. Authorities said it tossed one mobile home onto another, killing three people inside the two homes. In Nashville, officials reported that the tornado destroyed 45 buildings and caused major damage to 129 more, before it tore through a main stretch of businesses in Hendersonville.

In all, 11 Tennessee counties were affected by the Dec. 9 severe weather. The National Weather Service in Nashville has reported seven confirmed tornadoes in central Tennessee that day.

On Dec. 13, President Joe Biden approved the state`s request for a major disaster declaration. It offers federal aid to individuals in Davidson, Dickson, Montgomery and Sumner counties who were affected and helps pay for certain storm- related costs to governments in Tennessee.

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