Nashville man has ties to area struck by tornadoes in Louisiana

tornado damage tennessee
Posted at 8:44 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 07:09:49-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville man who was raised in southern Louisiana said he plans to raise money for tornado victims back home.

Tornadoes tore through parts of New Orleans Tuesday night, destroying homes and killing one person. It's believed the most damage was from an EF3 tornado with winds above 165 mph.

Carlyn Perez sees some similarities between that disaster and the tornado that hit Nashville in 2020.

Perez left Louisiana for Nashville six years ago. He said it's hard not to think about home when images from the tornado damage are posted on social media.

"Right where the tornado hit is just north of where our family crawfish farm is," Perez said "And so, it's an area called Arabi. Technically, it's part of Chalmette. It's the area that splits New Orleans and Chalmette. It's a small strip of land with residential housing, and it's an area where we also grew up."

Luckily, Perez's family is OK but the devastation from the tornado reminds him of Hurricane Katrina.

"During Katrina, the entire parish had at least 10 feet of water. We bounced back from that," he said.

Pictures and video from the area remind Perez of similar disasters here in Tennessee and Kentucky.

"The similarities of it are obvious," he said. "The struggles of what people have to go through are the same. It's obviously unfortunate."

There's a chance it could impact the shipping for his business but he's not worried about that. His business, Southcoast Seafood, brings fresh-caught shellfish and other Cajun cuisine to the Middle Tennessee area.

Perez has also connected with another Chalmette native — Warren Bondi, a Mt. Juliet man whose home was hit by a tornado in December.

Together, they said they are going to find a way to help the people of their hometown. Like people here, in times of need, they help each other.

Perez and Bondi hope to have a fundraiser at a brewery where crawfish will also be available.

They haven't finalized their plans yet.