NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Thursday marks six months since one of the worst natural disasters in Middle Tennessee when nearly a dozen tornadoes swept through the state, killing 25 people.
The EF-4 was the deadliest in the Volunteer State since 2011. A total of 10 tornadoes spawned from the same super cell that passed over the Germantown neighborhood north of downtown Nashville.
One of the hardest hit buildings was Vista Germantown, which was condemned hours after the tornado hit. Hundreds of people had minutes to grab their belongings and find a new home.
Six months later, construction has been nonstop since and now the building is starting a new chapter.
Managers said they didn’t think it would take six months to get the building back open to residents again, but it’s been a slow process that was slowed down even more by the pandemic.
Now, the section of the building that took the least amount of damage is available for rent. Forty-four units are ready and the first renter moved back in two weeks ago.
Designers salvaged what they could and took the opportunity to make some upgrades. Families who do come back will have some new ways to celebrate community.
“We’ve talked about doing a community garden, that’s kind of our theme right now, growing rebuilding so each of our new residents that are coming in, we’re giving them plants to grow but we’re going to add a community garden where we can vegetables and things like that our residents came come and work on and use as well. that’s something different we didn’t have before,” explained regional manager Carrie Regan.
The Vista management team started an internal Facebook group for residents and staff to connect and share stories. They said it is a helpful way to move past the trauma of what happened and plan on hosting a big welcoming back party once construction is complete, which will likely be spring of 2021.
2020 has been a tough year for so-called “killer tornadoes.” So far this year, the storm prediction center has reported 25 of these killer tornadoes across the country, 14 in March alone.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of Super Tuesday tornado rebuilding and recovery.