Volunteers help clean up tornado damage in North Nashville

Published: Mar. 5, 2020 at 4:30 PM CST
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Looking around North Nashville the damage is almost hard to believe, homes brought to the ground, trees scattered across streets and sidewalks.

On 16th Avenue N, an entire block was completely devastated.

"Driving through here it's kind of shocking when you see it for the first time," said Taylor Townsley.

Townsley is one of the hundreds of volunteers with Zeal Church who spent Thursday in North Nashville helping clean up tornado damage.

"There's a lot of damage here and this area of the city has not really been shown on the news. The damage is just as severe as it is in Germantown and East Nashville and it's just, it's shocking," added Townsley.

Those in North Nashville are left to clean up and salvage anything they can after a tornado tore through their community early Tuesday morning.

"It was, you know, ten till one in the morning I thought I was dreaming, I was back there in the bed and then all of a sudden I said, 'Well that sounds like a tornado' and then it hit and all my windows imploded in my bedroom cause that big tree came down on the back of the house," said Gail Tucker, who lives in North Nashville.

Earnest Wilburn said when it was all over he found his boat inside his kitchen.

"And we heard all the hail hitting the windows. By that time I got up, by the time I could get halfway through the house the whole house was shaking, sounded like a train was coming through," said Wilburn.

He says everyone in his neighborhood is displaced, but he considers them all very lucky.

"The woman across the street she was very lucky. Half of her house is gone, the only half that is still there is the half that she was in," said Wilburn. "My neighbor here, he got out of bed just in time. That tree fell right through his house as he was getting out of his bed."

The sense of community in Nashville is stronger than ever as they unite with the same goal: to help out however they can.

"We've set up locations in two different areas and throughout the day we probably have between 50 and 100 people at each location," said Towsley. "We know that this isn't going to be a one or two-day thing, this could go on for weeks and months and we're here for the long haul for these people."

More than 15,000 people are still without power.

Those who live in East Nashville say it could take weeks before this area is cleaned up.