A severe storm that moved through East Tennessee overnight sent 20 people in McMinn County to the hospital, officials announced Wednesday morning.
The extent of the injuries are not known at this time, but officials said EMS crews had transported 8 of the victims.
The National Weather Service in Morristown confirmed its sending meteorologists to McMinn and Polk Counties to check the storm damage and see whether a tornado touched down.
In nearby Polk County, an official confirmed two people have been killed in the severe weather that hit overnight. Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener says a husband and wife died and two others were injured in Polk County.
The McMinn County mayor is asking residents to reduce cell phone use in the area due to coverage issues.
The Red Cross is staffing a shelter at Keith Memorial Methodist Church, located at 600 West Madison Avenue.
Viewer pictures from Athens showed scattered damage.
10News has a crew on the scene and will update as more information becomes available
The Associated Press contributed to this report