NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s been nearly two years since a deadly tornado outbreak hit Tennessee. Today, rebuilding continues throughout much of the area.
On Holly Street in East Nashville, you will still see empty lots and up-rooted trees, along with the sights and sounds of rebuilding.
Councilman Brett Withers said it’s been a long two years with continued hurdles as more storms have swept through the area since, but on the other side of the trauma and devastation is a renewed sense of community.
“It’s been a long process, especially for the people that have been trying to repair their homes. I still have homeowners that are still waiting to get back into their home or had to rebuild and aren’t quite there yet so it’s, it’s been two years. The thing that makes me really proud of our East Nashville community is almost immediately people said, you know, we are good and we are going to go out and help other parts of the community that need help more than we do so that sense of community in the east is really heartening to me,” Withers explained.
Hence the phrase “Nashville Strong.”
The historic East End United Methodist Church still partially standing. The church served as a beacon of light for the neighborhood as daylight broke, on March 3. Some families believe the church shielded them, protecting their lives and sparing some homes.
“The church, miraculously, I still don’t understand how it was still standing by how much it had shifted and moved and fallen out. It looked like a bomb had hit the side of it,” explained Seth Williams who lives across the way.
Just across the way, on the night of March 2, Seth Williams and his wife were sleeping.
“It sounded like a car crash. This massive tree next door fell down and things were hitting the roof. It just sounded so quick, it sounded like metal was just breaking and things were just shattering around us. When it was over and we walked out our back door we could see that just pure hell broke loose,” Williams told News 2.
His family was one of the lucky ones.
“I had a ton of volunteers just show up out of nowhere from different states and different communities and churches it was really touching.”
Today, the Williams’ may have a different view outside their door, but they also have a community of survivors that’s forever bonded.
“Seems like a stronger community than it was before,” he stated.
As for the church, the community has held onto hope it could be repaired but the 115-year-old house of worship will soon be demolished with plans for a new sanctuary to be built.
A demolition date hasn’t been announced.