NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The crack of thunder and roaring winds marked the start of a devastating weather event no one in Middle Tennessee could forget. Multiple deadly twisters devastated four counties, including Davidson County, where Nashville sits, and Putnam, where more than a dozen people lost their lives. Dozens more are still missing.
Now, the death toll is at 24 and is expected to rise. The sunrise on Wednesday brought out crews to Nashville to repair downed power lines and secure areas. Streets were blocked off by local law enforcement.
The new day revealed devastation more than 24 hours after the tragic tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service, an EF-2 tornado tore through Germantown. In other areas like east Nashville, an EF-3 twister took out businesses and homes.
“FEMA is already on the ground and I’ll be going there on Friday. Our hearts are full of sorrow for the lives that were lost. It’s a vicious thing, those tornadoes,” President Donald Trump said Tuesday.
In Putnam County, 80 miles east of Nashville, officials there clarified 18 people lost their lives in that devastating tornado. Officials told media that 38 people are now listed as missing as of Wednesday morning.
“There are folks missing. We have deployed teams across the state in a search and rescue effort,” Governor Bill Lee said. “Our prayers are greatly needed for families who are out there dealing with a sudden tragic event.”
Prayers came from all over the country. Helping hands flooded the neighborhoods in need of help.
“We’re just trying to help as much as we can,” said Dru Marshall, a local who joined his friends by putting on gloves and taking shovels to help people clean up debris.
Businesses in east Nashville were ripped to shreds.
“It’s literally just demolished..half the building,” Son Tran, the owner of Lee Nails, said. “The walls, glass shattered... basically just completely totaled.”
In Germantown, near the empty Kroger, O’Riley Autoparts and a rubble-filled parking lot were unrecognizable, but there were helping hands. A food truck, Next Level Food, gave out free meals to anyone in need.
“Just come down and get a drink, a hotdog, something to eat and stay warm,” owner David McGee said.
It was a gesture that made hearts melt with feelings of gratitude.
“You just feel happy giving back to people who need it. If it was me, I hope somebody would help me the same way,” co-owner Jermeachia Stockard said.
There is still plenty of work left to be done.