‘The worst and best year of our lives’: East Nashville couple reflects on March 2020 tornadoes

Nashville Tornado

NASHVILLE, TN (WKRN) — On March 2, 2020, Taylor and Lauren Butler went to sleep inside their Holly Street home. Hours later they woke up to the sound of breaking glass.

“We woke up to windows breaking in our master bedroom onto the bed and windows breaking all in the house downstairs,” Taylor said.

The couple ran to their basement with seconds to spare, cutting their feet on debris and shards of glass.

“Blood was all over the staircase down to the basement. As I mentioned my wife was 8 months pregnant, so I thought we were going into labor at that point. Thank goodness we weren’t and they were just minor cuts from the glass,” Taylor said.

The storm passed and the Butler’s were okay, but their home and their neighborhood were torn to shreds.

“We basically lost the entire front façade of the house. The door had flown into the living room, all the windows were gone,” Taylor said. “It was post-apocalyptic. I mean there’s no other way to describe it. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

Homes unlivable. Lives destroyed. But when the clouds cleared, Taylor Butler said people showed up.

“A very Nashville thing happened. We were literally turning people down because we had too much help and I couldn’t tell them what to do because it was overwhelming,” Taylor said.

One year later some neighbors are still rebuilding, but the Butlers are home again. Now with a new family member. And one day they’ll tell their son what 2020 was like.

“I feel like it was the worst thing that happened to us, but also it’s been one of the best years of my life because of everything that we’ve gone through. Meeting new neighbors, having a baby, rebuilding a house,” Taylor said. “I just feel blessed that we’re here and that we’re back and that we had insurance and we had a good contractor and we had a healthy baby and good neighbors. That’s all you can ask for!”


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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