A car crushed by a tree sits on a street after a tornado touched down Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn.  (AP Photo…
A car crushed by a tree sits on a street after a tornado touched down, March 3, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn.

Rescue crews spent Tuesday going through rubble of dozens of buildings in the southern U.S. state of Tennessee after rare late winter tornadoes tore through the Nashville area, killing at least 24 people.

"It's a tragic day in our state," Governor Bill Lee said.  "A sad day."

People had little time to find shelter as the tornadoes struck overnight.  Video of the storm shows lightning illuminating a huge menacing funnel bearing down on downtown Nashville, the world's country music capital.

Debris scattered across an intersection, March 3, 2020, in downtown Nashville, Tenn.

Daylight revealed a scene of destroyed buildings and streets covered by wrecked cars, downed trees, and power lines.

The tornado also destroyed several hangars at a small municipal airport in west Nashville.

Authorities in one county east of Nashville imposed an overnight curfew to prevent looting.

Authorities in one county east of Nashville imposed an overnight curfew to prevent looting. 

Several polling places were damaged. A state judge ordered some places to remain open past their scheduled closing times so voters would have enough time to cast ballots in the key Super Tuesday presidential nomination election.

U.S. President Donald Trump offered his condolences to storm victims and promised federal help.

"We’re working with the leaders of Tennessee, including their great Governor Bill Lee, to make sure everything is done properly," Trump said. "[The Federal Emergency Management Agency] FEMA is already on the ground and I will be going there on Friday."