One Year Later: Donelson family reflects on surviving the tornado with newborn child

donelson fam survives tornado
Posted at 4:45 PM, Mar 03, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In the Donelson neighborhood of Stanford Estates, going from rubble to recovery is happening step by step. Large stretches of the neighborhood were decimated when a deadly tornado tore through the area March 3, 2020.

The difference being -- the size of those steps. Some lots feature brand new houses, other lots are still empty and may continue to be for years to come.

For the Roy family, their recovery is marked through baby steps.

In the early hours of that fateful morning -- the Roy family was celebrating one of their first nights home with their newborn baby daughter -- Adelynn. Then alarms started sounding and they turned on the TV.

"That trajectory is exactly in line with where our house is, and that’s it, and then the power went out," said Jason Roy, Adelynn's father.

From their safe place, Jason and his wife Jenna could actually hear the tornado roaring outside their door. "It sounds like a train coming through -- coming fast and fierce," said Jenna.

Adelynn slept through it all. Her parents, not even a wink. "I mean all it had to do was jump a street and it lands here," Jason said.

A few days later, Jason was able to see firsthand all of the destruction that had only missed them by about 700 yards. "This is incredible how much power this storm had," Jason told us in 2020. "What if I were here in the same neighborhood? What would me and my family have done? Would we have been ok through all of this?"

Jason volunteered that Saturday with Hands On Nashville, helping his neighbors in need. He's relieved to see many of them well on the path of recovery.

Jason and Jenna have been counting their blessings ever since. Adelynn just turned one and they were able to celebrate all that she's overcome and likely won't even remember.

"[I'm] thankful for the fact she’s made it through so many different things with the tornado and just everything else that has happened this year," said Jason.

On their mantle, they have a picture of Adelynn every month since her birth. They're still so grateful, both their daughter and community are growing again, step by step.

"We see that people are still trying to rebuild their lives across the street, so that’s definitely a humbling thing and makes us really not take for granted what we have and what we’ve gone through," said Jason.