A little after midnight on Tuesday March 3, 2020, Nashville, Tennessee was hit unexpectedly by a tornado.
I was asleep when suddenly I heard what sounded like a train. That isn’t unusual since there are trains that sound their horns in the distance. Even as I slept I remember thinking, “Why does it sound like that train is coming through my window?” That is when I realized that sound was not the typical whistle blowing of a train in the distance. I quickly opened my eyes to the noise getting louder. Just as I sat up, my son rushed into my bedroom door. I jumped out of bed and we both looked out my window.
The only way I could describe outside was it was all white with plenty of lightning. I couldn’t see the street, the cars, or the school across the street from me. The noise that sounded like a train was extremely loud, the building started shaking and hail was hitting my windows so hard, I thought they would break. It sounded like someone was standing below forcefully throwing rocks at my windows with the intention of breaking them. The power in the entire neighborhood went off at once. I told my son, “Get into the closet!” As we raced for my huge walk-in closet, I realized we were in the middle of a tornado. We stood in there for a few minutes hearing the rumbling and wind blowing then suddenly…Silence.
I had never heard the world be so quiet in all my life. Slowly making our way out, it was completely dark in our house. We each had our cell phones so we used the flashlights on them to make our way back to the window. Looking out, the only thing I could say was, “Oh my God.” Within minutes, huge trees were uprooted and laid on their sides, I could see a neighbor’s car had been pushed out to the middle of the street. Part of the roof was hanging off the school. On the street next to my place, I could see where a large tree was knocked over. Power lines blocked the street where if one tried to drive up that street they wouldn’t be able to get around. It was total blackness outside. Occasionally, we’d see the light from someone’s phone shining in the dark. My son wanted to check to see if there was any damage to our vehicles. Just as he was headed outside, the sirens began to sound. I advised him not to go because I thought that was a sign another tornado was coming through. After a short time, we both were able to get outside to survey the damage around us and our cars.
With it being almost one o’clock in the morning and all of the power out in the neighborhood, it was extremely too dark to see everything. Thank God, our vehicles were not damaged. However, when it did become light enough to see, our neighbors were not as fortunate. It was mostly windows that had been blown out and cars shifted. When I took a walk around the block, I saw where the front bumper of someone’s car was peeled like an opened tin can. It was the damage to buildings that took me by surprise.
By seven o’clock in the morning, I was able to see more devastation of nearby properties. There was roof damage to the other side of my complex, also an entire condo was destroyed. To see a space filled with rubble where days prior there was a building in that spot was shocking. Trashcans and trash was thrown about. Shingles from our building were torn and on the ground. A siding panel over my son’s bedroom window is missing and the window on our building is busted out.
As of this moment, the electric company has placed two large generators with lights on them to shine throughout the neighborhood. To see photos of homes and businesses that are now piles of rubble is disturbing. The death count as of now is twenty-two. A couple was killed as they left work and was caught in an alley. That occurred just minutes from where I live. It’s almost three o’clock Wednesday morning as I type this and power is still out. Our light company, NES states there are more than 43,449 customers without power. This number is down from approximately 50,000.
Last reported about 30 businesses in east Nashville have been severely damaged or totally destroyed. Tennessee State University’s campus was damaged by the storm. Thankfully, most of their student body is on spring break. It’s been reported we were in an EF-3 tornado. The last tornado of this magnitude was in 1998 and prior to that, 1933. Remember, Nashvillians survived the flood of 2010.
Nashville residents immediately kicked in to help all those who need it. There are plenty places for shelter, restaurants, bars and other businesses giving out free food, water and even beer to volunteers, families and our brave and skilled emergency workers. NES has called in assistance from other parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia to restore power to those of us without it. #NashvilleStrong!
For those who have reached out to check on my son and myself, thank you. We are safe, unharmed, and truly blessed. Being without lights is nothing compared to being without a place to live or as some families are dealing with, being without their loved ones. I must say, I never thought I would experience anything such as this and I pray to God I never will.
I appreciate your support and prayers. The photos below are my building and neighborhood. There are also a few photos of how some nearby businesses looked before the tornado and how they look after it hit. I haven’t gone throughout the community to see other areas because if I’m not going to be of assistance, I don’t need to hinder those who are helping.
If you need to reach out to me, you can find me at KarmaEve@gmail.com, Facebook, or Instagram. If you are in Nashville, reach out to let me know how you’re doing and if anything is needed. We must get through this together.
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