Tennessee hospital won't bill tornado victims for out-of-pocket treatment costs

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- A Tennessee hospital won't bill 82 tornado victims for out-of-pocket costs incurred from treatment connected to this week's spate of deadly tornadoes in the area.

Cookeville Regional Medical Center said it will bill patients' insurance providers but will not bill patients themselves for any outstanding costs. Uninsured patients will also not be charged.

The tornado outbreak killed 24 people and caused massive damage. The strongest tornado overnight into Tuesday packed winds up to 175 mph and lasted for eight miles in Putnam County, reaching EF-4 strength. President Donald Trump viewed damage on the ground Friday in Putnam County, where 18 deaths occurred.

Before that twister touched down, a tornado reached EF-3 strength, hitting peak winds of 165 mph and carving a 60-mile path across Nashville and Wilson counties.

Weaker EF-0 tornadoes touched down in Smith and Putnam counties; another hit Putnam County; and Cumberland County saw one as well. Humphreys County experienced an EF-1 twister.

Tornadoes also were confirmed in other parts of the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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