East Nashville Tornado, March 2020

On the evening of March 2nd, 2020, I went to bed, read for a while, then shut the light. I wasn’t even asleep yet when my cellphone weather alerts started going off, telling me there was a tornado warning. I was puzzled, as there hadn’t been any unusually bad weather that day, just a few thunderstorms, and there were no tornado watches in effect. But I figured I’d better check the TV to see what’s going on. It turned out there was definitely a tornado on the ground. It wasn’t near my home, but it became apparent the tornado was heading into North Nashville, then Germantown, then East Nashville, where I own a small apartment building. I started texting a couple of my tenants.

By the time one of them got back to me, the storm had already blown through, passing about two blocks north of my building. I headed out with my camera the next morning to take a look, and the destruction was tremendous. As you can see from the photos, some people were wandering around, stunned by what had happened to their neighborhood. But others were already clearing debris, starting the clean-up process, and helping their neighbors. My fourplex was spared, though two large trees came down, fortunately falling away from the building into an empty parking lot. If one of those trees had gone the other way, it would have crushed the back end of the building. I’d been through earthquakes in California, but I had not seen anything like this.

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