Gov. Haslam tours tornado damage in Lincoln County - WSMV Channel 4

Gov. Haslam tours tornado damage in Lincoln County

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FAYETTEVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday surveyed the devastation wrought by a deadly tornado this week in Lincoln County.

Monday night's tornado started near the Alabama line and cut a path to the northeastern corner of the county, leaving two dead and at least 25 homes and one elementary school destroyed.

Haslam started his tour in the air with a view from a National Guard helicopter. From that vantage point, Haslam said, he saw the destructive nature of the storm and the randomness of the EF-3 tornado.

"You see people whose lives are overturned and just scattered over the acres surrounding your house. There's a lot of pain," Haslam said.

But he could also see the rapid response from church groups to volunteers.

Local leaders thanked the governor for the state's quick response.

The governor offered condolences to the Price family, who lost two loved ones when their mobile home was thrown several hundred yards from its foundation, and passed on sympathies to the families whose homes were destroyed.

Through it all, he says, the volunteer spirit is in high gear.

"Amidst all this, you're always impressed how resilient people are when things happen to them and then how responsive the neighbors are," Haslam said. "In every situation I've seen in Tennessee, that's exactly what it's looked like."

The National Weather Service has yet to make a final call on the on the strength of the tornado, but set a preliminary rating of EF-3 with winds between 136 mph and 165 mph.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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