Cookeville fire chief helps neighbors after deadly EF-4 tornado

Nashville Tornado

Heroes of the Storm

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Moments after an EF-4 tornado tore through Cookeville on the morning of March 3, the city’s fire chief rushed out to help his neighbors.

When Daryl Blair saw the tree, powerlines and debris blocking the roads, he said he knew he needed to jump into action.

“It was just like a train. Lasted maybe 15 or 20 seconds and it was over. I didn’t realize it had done all of this until we started getting paged out and that is when we had the chaos of seeing everything,” Blair explains.

He added, “when daylight came, you got to see everything like you do now and I think that is when it really sunk in how bad it was.”

The first several days were search and rescue operations. When everyone was accounted for, the cleanup process began.

“It is bad, but as a community we will rebuild,” Blair explained. “Cookeville and Putnam County, I am proud to be part of it. I’m proud for this to be my home. I was born and raised here and if something ever happens to this community it is like an army.”

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of Super Tuesday tornado rebuilding and recovery.

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