For those of you who don’t live in Tennessee, you may have heard the news of the devastating tornado earlier this week. First of all, my family and I are fine. We live West of Nashville and the damage was primarily in East Nashville, a revitalized historic area of town. Many many homes and businesses (including a lot of of popular bars and restaurants) were completely destroyed. This tornado had a path of 50 miles and the death toll is up to 25. There was also significant damage in Mt. Juliet and Donelson and Putnam County. My older daughter’s junior and senior high school classes went out to Donelson Christian Academy Wednesday to help with cleanup efforts. The school was completely destroyed. I’m so thankful this tornado occurred at night when school was not in session.
This is not the first time tornados have hit our state. I was working downtown at Vanderbilt University during the 1998 tornado that came through in the afternoon. There were also deadly tornados in 1933. We’ve also survived a major flood. But Tennesseans are strong and there is a reason they call us the Volunteer State. Hands on Nashville is a fantastic nonprofit that organized volunteer efforts throughout the city all year long and this week more than 20,000 new volunteers have signed up at Hon.org.
Tornado path comparison from three major events (including this week).
This week’s tornado took many people by surprise. We have a tornado system in Davidson County (put in place after the deadly 1998 tornado) but the system developed quickly and most people were asleep. I slept through our sirens. I honestly had taken Melatonin at bedtime and was sound asleep. However, my mom’s dog Callie now lives with us and she kept trying to wake me up shortly after midnight. Now I know why. I checked my phone and my go to source for alerts on Twitter (@NashSevereWx) but it was just before the weather really started developing and I went back to sleep. We live about 18 miles from East Nashville and the path of the tornado.
Want to see a pretty terrifying up close and personal vantage point of the tornado as it ripped through downtown? This video of a man who captured it all from a crane has gone viral.
How can you help out? There are groups going out every day to help with clean up efforts and many businesses are accepting donations.
Here are a few ways.
Purchase a product benefiting tornado relief efforts (article via Style Blueprint). If you don’t live in Tennessee but want to contribute, this is a great way to do so!
Donate to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
Donate to the United Way Restore the Dream fund
Many restaurant workers are out of work now. The Nashville hospitality industry has rallied. Read this Eater.com article to learn more.
If you have a trip planned to visit Music City yes we are open for business! You may want to call ahead, however, to ensure the area you are visiting was not impacted. As I mentioned, the majority of the damage in downtown in East Nashville as well as historic Germantown. Visit Music City has information about visiting Nashville and lists numerous helpful resources as well.
Proud of my home state and city!