Two years after tornado hits Nashville, recovery still in progress

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Posted at 8:00 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 21:00:47-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Deadly tornadoes tore through miles and miles of Middle Tennessee on March 3, 2020.

The storms took lives and destroyed homes and businesses from Nashville through Putnam County.

Who could forget that day?

The strong winds from tornadoes left a visible scar throughout the state.

In its wake, North Nashville was hit hard.

But in 2022, standing in what was once a path of debris and uncertainty, sits new development.

Last year on this day, Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Curtis Bryant said he was worried the neighborhood might change.

"The soul of this neighborhood has been mostly Black families," said Curtis, looking over plots of land where single-story homes once stood.

NewsChannel 5 knows some families who lived there haven't come back.

"Unfortunately, there's a lot of struggle," said Pastor Lisa Hammonds of St. John A.M.E Church. "Unfortunately, there have been a lot of people who have not been able to bounce back like others. The need is still great."

The tornadoes also hit East Nashville, dealing heavy damage to homes and businesses.

Gym was heavily damaged. Adam Wright remembers that day well.

"Pretty much, the thing had come and landed right on the back corner of the gym," said Wright.

Wright believes the tornado smashed into the back corner of the gym, tearing out the walls and shattering all windows.

"As big of a mess as it was, there was so many people that came out and volunteered. We got everything out that day and moved it to storage up the street," he said.

Despite the mess the tornado left, Wright feels fortunate. It could've been worse.

"I was OK at my house," said Wright. "Some people weren't. A couple died in the alley leaving the bar down the street."

That couple is Mike Dolfini and Albree Sexton. Both were killed by the severe weather that night.

Attaboy, a bar where the couple worked, closed down Thursday in honor of the pair.

A representative from the business said they feel fortunate to have met them.

In the aftermath, many people in Nashville volunteered their time to help others.

Proof that the people of Middle Tennessee help each other when it matters most.

However, the storm's wake left more than 20 people dead. Those are scars the community will always feel.