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'Total Devastation' as Deadly Twisters Hit Lincoln County, Tennessee

Official says "dozens of homes have been destroyed" after tornadoes hit southeastern Tennessee.

Two tornadoes that smashed into southern Tennessee caused "almost total devastation," officials said.

"ALL HOMES GONE," read the National Weather Service report for one of the communities in Lincoln County struck by one of the twisters on Monday night.

Two people were killed by the Tennessee twisters as Monday's death toll across the South reached 11 and more than 50 tornadoes were reported in total.

The NWS and Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said two tornadoes touched down between 6 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. local time Monday. A third was reported but did not hit the ground.

"All of the southeastern side of Lincoln County has been hit and almost completely devastated," said Chelsea Bobo, a spokeswoman at the sheriff's office. "This is the worst this area has been hit in many years."

She said between 9,000 and 11,000 homes across the county had been left without power but that it was too early to tell exactly how many homes had been damaged.

"I would say dozens of homes have been destroyed and the number damaged could be in the hundreds."

The NWS said "all homes [are] gone" after one of the tornadoes hit Crystal Springs, a rural community nine miles north of the Alabama border.

Another ripped off the front and most of the roof from South Lincoln Elementary school, in nearby Fayetteville, but the building was empty at the time.

- Alexander Smith