CANNON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Rutherford County officials confirmed an EF-2 tornado with winds up to 130 miles per hour ripped through the Readyville area early Saturday morning.
Local leaders said the severe weather “wiped out” the town, leaving homes and longtime businesses with major damage, including Russell’s Market on Murfreesboro Road.
Russell Reed and his wife, Mary, decided to open the store 44 years ago.
“Back when we started, they were called ‘mom and pops.’ And I’m pop and my wife is mom,” Russell said.
That labor of love has since been knocked down into piles of debris.
“We’re done. We gonna retire. We’ve been talking about it for a few months now, and this is just the creature that walked up behind us and kind of gave us the shove in the right direction,” Russell said.
However, Mary couldn’t hold back her tears after seeing what was left of Russell’s Market.
“It’s devastating. We helped lay all those blocks, we carried lumber,” Mary explained. “We had a fire in ’95, so we rebuilt this from the ground up.”
On Sunday, April 2, Rutherford County officials said nearly 800 volunteers showed up to clear paths and take care of the rubble around Readyville. Meanwhile, churches and vendors provided water and more than 400 meals.
Darrell Adams, a longtime friend of Russell and Mary, was among the volunteers. He showed up with his Bobcat to help clear debris Sunday afternoon.
“It needs to be done. They’d do it for me,” Adams said.
Instead of focusing on the destruction, the Reeds said they were grateful nobody was killed in Readyville.
“The real important thing is being here, and all the people that have come around to help,” Russell said.
As the owners of a business that’s shared small-town hospitality with Readyville for years, the Reeds said they saw the favor returned to them on Sunday.
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News 2’s Nikki McGee asked the couple what their biggest takeaway was from the storm.
“That people are good,” Mary replied. “They’re really good.”
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