Memories are still fresh three years after a tornado outbreak destroyed a Cookeville neighborhood

Cookeville 3 years later.jpeg
Posted at 8:34 PM, Mar 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-06 21:42:27-05

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Three years separated from a deadly EF4 tornado that destroyed neighborhoods in Cookeville, Hensley Drive looks much different today.

Most of the homes are new, in a neighborhood transformed after the 2020 tornadoes flattened the old ones.

Faith Johnson, her husband Eric and their two kids rode out the storm in their home. While they emerged afterward, so many of their neighbors did not.

Johnson and her family decided to rebuild on the same lot — the only place she says her family has ever been happy.

But on days like last week when the threat of tornadoes was in the forecast on the very day of the three-year mark, everyone was still on edge.

"I’m sure everybody’s anxieties and emotions are running high," Johnson said. "I mean you try to be strong, and in front of my kids, you try to be strong but, even though it’s been three years, it still feels like yesterday."

Thankfully, while rain and strong winds whipped the entire middle Tennessee region, in Putnam County, there wasn't a tornado to be seen on Friday.

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