‘Nashville’s going to be just fine’: Germantown man recalls resilience of the city 1 year after tornado

Nashville Tornado

NASHVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) — As people across Middle Tennessee went to bed March 2, 2020, a devastating tornado outbreak erupted leaving 25 people dead.

Reggie Lorjuste remembers taking shelter inside his Germantown apartment when a tornado struck his building.

“Immediately, I was like ‘we’re either having a hurricane or a tornado,'” Lorjuste continued, ” You could just hear the sound, and you could see the devastation.”

Lorjuste said he was able to hear everything on his first-floor unit. He rushed under the bed for safety. “This is something that was surreal. I mean, I was shocked at what I was seeing.”

About an hour later Lorjuste went outside to survey the damage, “I walked outside to the devastation. It was just a wreck everywhere.” 

A power pole fell on top of a parked car just outside of  Lorjuste’s apartment. It was by chance he didn’t park there that night. “I feel blessed and fortunate that these power lines did not fall through the window, and they fell towards the cars,” Lorjuste said. “So, I’m one of the lucky ones.” 

Despite being displaced and without power, Lorjuste focused on helping other people. “I just felt the heartbeat of the city. I just felt like, you know, I wanted to rally with the city and help out,” 

Lorjuste said. “It just made me feel good that I was blessed and fortunate enough not to get hurt during this storm to be able to help the less fortunate. You know, these people are without homes, they’re without water.”  

Just a few weeks later, COVID-19 hit the city, forcing a shutdown. And Nashville didn’t escape 2020 without the downtown bombing. But, Lorjuste said he has no doubt Nashville will recover.    

“I don’t want to steal a cliché, but Nashville’s strong,” Lorjuste said. “’Nashville Strong’ is something that will attach to the city because, even with the bombing, people still go out, people still make sure they have a good time in the city. People still support one another, so I feel like this community has a strong heartbeat. Nashville’s going to be just fine.”

See how hope has overcome heartbreak across the area. News 2 brings you special reports Tennessee Stronger: A Year of Recovery all day Wednesday in every newscast and on WKRN.com.

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