Reflecting one year later on the Christmas bombing on Second Avenue

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Posted at 5:25 PM, Dec 22, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Three days from now, Nashville will celebrate Christmas, but it's also the one-year anniversary of the bombing in downtown Nashville.

Last year, a man drove his RV to Second Avenue and set off a bomb.

“It’s one of the strangest and in many ways scariest things I’ve ever experienced in Nashville,” District 19 Councilman Freddie O’Connell said.

The events that unfolded last year on Second Avenue Christmas morning played out like a movie.

A strange RV parked along Second Avenue, a message from the loud speaker warning people of an explosion, and officers rushing door to door to evacuate people.

Betsy Williams is still haunted by the day.

The blast damaged her street and everything in its path, including the AT&T data building.

“That facility was designed to withstand high impact events like a bombing or extreme weather,” Councilman O’Connell said.

Almost a year later, progress has been made but sections remain closed to the public.

“We’re waiting on insurance settlement. We would like to get that settlement so that we can move forward. So, we can get our tenants back in business,” Williams said.

The question running through the mind of Councilman O’Connell is how to prevent this from ever happening again.

He also wants to make sure emergency communications are not lost if something of this magnitude was to occur.

The Second Avenue Recovery project is still underway, and Williams said she is excited about the future of her neighborhood.

Mayor John Cooper’s latest capital spending plan includes $20 million for the recovery of Second Avenue.

The Historic Zoning Commission is playing a big role in approving projects.

“I'm very much looking forward to working on this and making that whole neighborhood even better,” Williams said.