Two years later, tornado still has long shadow
Two years ago today, a deadly tornado cut a path of destruction through the heart of the city.
- Recovery came fitfully during the pandemic. Scars from the storm are still visible.
Why it matters: In some ways, the tornado exposed Nashville at its best. Volunteers plunged in to help before daybreak and rallied behind the victims.
- But the storm also exacerbated longstanding concerns about growth, gentrification and inequality in Nashville.
Flashback: Neighborhood streets were twisted beyond recognition and reduced to heaps of wood and metal. The storm killed two people in East Nashville before traveling east, bringing more carnage to Cookeville.
- The Rev. Bede Price, the priest at Assumption Church in Germantown, remembers walking outside in bare feet to see the mangled roof of a nearby AutoZone lying in the middle of the road.
State of play: At Assumption Church, as in many parts of the city, the recovery is still underway.
- The damaged steeple was replaced in December and the last wave of tornado repairs is drawing to a close, Price tells Axios.
Driving the news: "There are symbols like that" throughout the city, Councilmember Freddie O'Connell tells Axios.
- "In some cases, you see what has been restored. In other cases, you still see a pile of rubble," O'Connell says. "The healing is not complete."
- In East Nashville, Drifters BBQ — a longtime staple in the Five Points neighborhood — only reopened last week after sustaining significant damage.
What they're saying: State Rep. Harold Love Jr. (D-Nashville), who participated in recovery efforts in North Nashville, tells Axios a series of factors collided to complicate matters.
- Nashville's booming construction landscape made it harder to secure crews for repairs. COVID sidelined relief work. But, he says, the volunteerism that animated the aftermath of the 2010 flood remained intact.
- "Nashville was not short on the love of one's neighbor."
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