Tornado Alley

Wow…what a day. It’s been almost eight years since a tornado killed a Vanderbilt student here in Nashville and left a trail of damage, particularly in historic East Nashville. I was working at Vanderbilt University at the time. My office was being renovated so I was in a temporary building seven stories up with a direct view of the downtown skyline. I was going to walk to the campus bookstore that afternoon, but changed my mind when I looked out at the ominous clouds. I remember seeing debris flying in the air and the next minute our receptionist coming in and saying somewhat frantically, “Guys, there’s a tornado…get in the stairwell. It’s here.” The hubby was west of downtown and saw the odd green color in the sky and heard the warnings and headed toward campus to make sure I was OK as the phone system was haywire for a while. So far there are 11 confirmed deaths from today’s tornadoes here Tennessee; the majority of fatalities were in Sumner County, which is north of Nashville. We are under a tornado watch until 4 a.m. Of course, the weather and storm damage dominated the local news and Caitlin couldn’t understand why mama wanted to watch the weather and she couldn’t watch Dora. Our tornado plan? Get in the bathtub and put the crib mattress over us. The hubby even shut down his shop around 4 as well as the servers. (He has a computer services business.)

Here’s a screen shot from our TV this afternoon. I’ve lived here my entire life and never heard of these towns, but they do fit the Southern stereotypical small town names, don’t they?

Radar 2


  1. Pattie says:

    Jamie, that must be so frightening for you.I have never seen a tornado, and I couldn’t imagine what it must be like to be in one. I’ve lived through a few hurricanes in my life, but tornadoes seem worse. Maybe it’s because you don’t have as much warning with a tornado. Stay safe…

  2. Jamie says:

    All is well here this morning in our part of Middle Tennessee, but other counties were hit hard. Remember those people in your thoughts and prayers. Here is a local weather blog link with a few pictures:

    Also, here’s a link to the Tennessean. The Sumner County photo gallery is a good portrait of how significant the damage was; worst storm system since 1974.

    Adding a bit news… I’m watching the local ABC affilate and the death toll in Sumner County has been lowered from 8 to 7.

    The pictures are heartbreaking. This story makes me want to cry. So glad the kids at this daycare are OK.

    Here’s quite a descriptive visual from our ABC affiliate, WKRN:
    Residents in Gallatin are now trying to cope with the realization of what happened yesterday. Two of the city’s subdivsions, “Woodhaven” and “Cheshire Landing”, were severely damaged. Some of the homes there are now just rubble. Eleven people are reported dead from the tornadoes in Tennessee yesterday. Eight of those deaths happened in Sumner County. State Senator Diane Black says 4 to 7-thousand square- foot homes were flattened like “pick-up sticks.”

  3. mama_tulip says:

    How terrifying for you! I think I’d really come unglued in a situation like that. Tornadoes and storms of that magnitude don’t bode well with me. I’m really glad that you guys are okay.

  4. R*Belle says:

    So glad that your family is ok, and am praying for those that were less fortunate. What a scary ordeal.

  5. Nicole says:

    yeah. That was fun, wasn’t it? I also had the toddler going “Wiggles! Barney!” (Translation: anything but the damn Doppler radar, mama!)

    Glad we escaped any damage and keeping those nearby who were not so lucky in my prayers.

  6. Anne says:

    oh lord, I saw the news but forgot you were in the area! Thank goodness you and yours were okay. I remember growing up in MN and fearing the tornado sirens.

  7. Kristen says:

    Glad your and Bay Caitlin are OK

    Was looking for info on the tornados and stumbled upon you. I had just moved to Nashville from Altanta in 98 and was on my second day on the job downtown at The Nashville CVB. That was a terrifying experience and the whole spring of tornado warnings etc..I spent many a night in the bathtub..It was traumatic. Now I live in CT with my 18 month old son. It would be so frightening to have to worry about him too in that. I hope you and your baby are well and safe this entire spring…..

  8. nancy says:

    We always have a minor rebellion when we interrupt kids’ tv for weather updates. I am terrified of tornadoes and if the sky gets the least bit funny-looking you can bet your bottom dollar I have The Weather Channel on.

    I am glad you all are doing OK. I can’t imagine how frightening it is to look at the radar and see there’s a tornado around.

  9. Bluegrass Mama says:

    Glad you got through it okay! I am very thankful that we have a basement, and don’t think I would live in this section of the country without one. I called my college son in Nashville the next day and found out that they never even got the word to go to the basement. And he’s an RA!

  10. cynthia says:

    My daughter was working in Goodletsville when the F3 went thru there. She was across the street from the church where there were 28(?) children in daycare (all safe, thank God!). She saw the spire ripped off, then the front of the church blow away. She said cars and semi trucks were blowing around like toys. When debris started hitting her building, she went and hid. She said it was like the hand of God coming down. She’d also seen the F3 that tore up Nashville 8 years ago, from the loading dock of a business she was working at then. She couldn’t believe the power of this. I was sucked out my front door by a small tornado that ripped off part of our roof last year. The door warped in the frame from my weight, and my husband (a hefty 6’4″ guy) could barely pull me back in. We never did find the pieces of the roof.

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  12. Sherron Ebrahimi says:

    It is such a shame with these recent thunderstorms which have been going around our country. I pray to God to present peace to all of the victims and help them via this tough time.

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