By WVUA 23 Reporter Caroline Wood

Many people are aware of the tornado that ripped through Nashville early Tuesday morning. But many may not know that one of the hardest hit areas is located 79 miles east of Nashville in Putnam County.

Some people in Tuscaloosa have ties to the devastation in Putnam County.

The state of Tennessee is under a state of emergency after a dangerous tornado ripped through middle Tennessee early Tuesday morning. Officials say an EF-4 tornado touched down between Cookeville and Baxter around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. This is the city halfway between Nashville and Knoxville.

The death toll in Tennessee is at 25, with 18 of those deaths out of Putnam County.

Hillary Estright is an alumna of the University of Alabama. She not only survived the 2011 tornado in Tuscaloosa, but has now experiences her second storm, the one that hit Putnam County Tuesday. She said although she cannot believe she is having to relive something like this, she has faith that Putnam County will rebuild.

“We’re going to come back just like Tuscaloosa did,” Estright said. “We’re going to rebuild, we’re going to be strong. This community…there’s been such love and outpour and everybody around has just been so wonderful. I’ve seen just like everybody from different areas of the nation just wanting to help and I think that’s just so great. I can’t even; it makes me so happy that the world is like that.”

Jacob McCarter, a current UA student, is from Cookeville. He said he is proud to be from a place where everyone has come together in such a difficult time.

“It honestly made me feel a sense of pride,” McCarter said. “I know that might sound cheesy to say but it’s just again been so amazing to see the community really coming together and everybody from all of these different parts of the state and country showing us support. It’s just, I’ve just felt such an immense sense of pride from it and just kind of hats off to all my fellow Cookevillians contributing and doing everything they for our community.”

Homes are destroyed, and many residents lost everything.  But, people have turned out in large numbers to help volunteer, so much so that they were turned away. That must go to show why Tennessee is called the Volunteer State.

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