MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — It’s been one month since the devastating tornadoes ripped through Middle Tennessee killing 25 people, including three in Wilson County. While the onslaught of COVID-19 has slowed recovery efforts somewhat, it has not dampened the spirits of neighbors.
Theodore Journigan lives in a home on Barrett Drive, one of the streets hardest hit by the tornadoes. He reflected on the help his neighbors gave him in the days since the tornado, and in the weeks after COVID-19 became a daily part of everyone's lives.
"Tornadoes kind of toughen you up a little bit," Journigan said. "Well, I made it through this, and I know we as a community and country, we’ll get through this too."
His is a perspective that can only come from someone who’s been through a lot in his 75 years.
"I was in the riots in Detroit, and Chicago, I had lung cancer, the death of a grandson to suicide, and I’m still here," Journigan said.
Journigan says he can’t help but feel a little guilty because he is still here, while there are some who did not survive the tornado.
"I feel optimistic, I feel sad for those who are less fortunate," Journigan said as he began to choke up.
But even with the rubble so apparent, Journigan focuses on the strength of his community.
"This is a great community, Mt. Juliet is a beautiful area," Journigan said. "We care for each other we help each other. I know we’ll be OK."