'It sounded like a whole bunch of dinosaurs fighting' Family recalls shielding each other from tornado debris

Apartment tornado damage
Posted at 4:28 PM, Mar 03, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A family shielded each other from storm debris as a tornado hit their apartment in East Nashville one year ago.

The Davis family was sleeping when the storm hit, but their grandma was watching the news. They credit NewsChannel 5 anchors and meteorologists for saving their lives. When they heard the tornado was hitting the news station, they took cover. "And get us to safety because we wouldn’t have made it. My bedroom, all of that was gone. I would have died. My car keys were up at that church," Briana Davis said.

Davis, her mother, 18-year-old Arthur Davis, 15-year-old Nicholas Davis, 14-year-old A’maya Davis and 12-year-old Saiyana Davis crammed into a small bathroom.

"That’s all I could do… I had to say goodbye to them in silence because I didn’t know if we were going to make it, and I didn’t want them to be scared if that was our last moment," Briana Davis said.

Nicholas was hit in the head with a piece of wood and thought he was going to faint.

"That wind was strong enough to almost take the door, but my grandma she held the door. We could have died," Nicholas said. "Me and my brother, he was in our room asleep, and at the last minute straight when we got to the bathroom, everything started ripping up."

Arthur Davis said he was crying and struggling to breathe. "It sounded like a whole bunch of dinosaurs fighting," he said.

Now, the East River Place Apartments on Eighth and Ramsey Street have been rebuilt. The Davis family decided to move to Antioch to start over.

"I think it brought us even closer," Briana Davis said. "We’re better prepared, and we don’t take anything for granted anymore."

The Davis family said renters insurance covered some of their losses, but not all of them. They want to encourage other families to take photos of their belongings and get a plan that covers everything.