Many in Middle Tennessee are struggling today while marking the one-year anniversary of the region’s deadly tornadoes.
Elected officials in Nashville, Mount Juliet and Putnam county recognized the damage from last year’s storm and the recovery over the past 12 months. On March 3, 2020, a tornado cut across Middle Tennessee and killed two people in Nashville, along with about two dozen others further east.
Mayor John Cooper, Councilmember Brandon Taylor and others toured North Nashville this morning and ended at Lee Chapel A.M.E. The church played a critical role in helping the area rebound. Taylor recognized the resiliency of North Nashville residents.
“We know that there is still work to do,” Taylor says. “And we are standing with you. And we’re praying with you and thinking of you.”
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is still offering support to storm survivors who may need mental or financial help.
Last night in Mt. Juliet, the community gathered to remember James and Donna Eaton and Brandy Barker, and to honor the survivors who still grapple with the storm’s effects.
Mt. Juliet Mayor James Maness acknowledged that many are still traumatized by the sounds of wind, trains or sirens. “We saw the worst of Mother Nature that night, but we saw the best in our people,” Maness said. “That’s what defined Mt. Juliet.”
The memorial took place about a mile from the path of the storm, which damaged more than 1,300 structures across Wilson County. Among those honored were first responders credited with saving lives and reuniting separated families.
In Putnam County, a ceremony was held to recognize past destruction and a chance to reshape future memories with a new park to honor the county’s 19 victims of last year’s March 3 tornado. Three families directly impacted by the storm donated their plots of land to the county for the park’s construction.
During today’s ceremony, one of the donors, Clint Pitt spoke for his sister Erin Kimberlin who tragically died during the tornado. Erin’s husband, Josh, and their 2-year-old son, the youngest victim of the storm, also passed away.
So far, over $86,000 has been raised for the memorial development, which was given its name on the one-year anniversary: Hope Park. Putnam Mayor Randy Porter says construction will begin once the weather allows.