NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Volunteers with the Tornado Recovery Connection spread out all over Nashville Saturday morning to check in on victims from the March 2020 tornados.
As we near the seven month mark since the storms, usually by now, everyone is at least on the road to recovery. Because of the pandemic, everything has really slowed down.
Volunteers went door to door in Donelson, North and East Nashville, checking in with as many families as possible. If neighbors answered the door, the volunteers walked them through the different recovery resources available. If no one answered the door, volunteers left a postcard with a phone number they can call to get the same information.
Walking through a neighborhood in East Nashville, it was evident a lot of homes are in good shape, but for some, the recovery hasn't even started and most are somewhere in between. "COVID’s made that really hard but we’re working trying to get out here as best we can," said Ben Piñon, a volunteer with the Tornado Recovery Connection. "In the moment, you don’t know, you don’t realize this is going to be a marathon."
There's a reason why they knock on every door. At Glenda Orrand's house, at first glance, you might not realize anything is wrong. "It looked like a bomb had been dropped," said Orrand.
Glenda somehow weathered the tornado, but this house that she's lived in for 60 years this month, is now worse for wear.
"I had collapsed floors, 30 holes in the back of my house in my roof, some of them all the way through to the ceiling," she explained.
While Orrand has been able to get her roof repaired, a roll-away dumpster still sits in her side yard. Her car port and privacy fence still need replacing. "I got a good contractor real quick. They’re doing good work, but they’ve been hampered by the pandemic, the shutdowns, not being able to get work crews lined up," said Orrand.
The Tornado Recovery Connection helps with more than just reconstruction. "That’s things like food assistance, rent and mortgage assistance, mediation with FEMA and insurance," explained Piñon.
In many ways, it's a rebirth that starts with a knock on the door, and hopefully ends with helpful answers. "I’m hoping to get it rebuilt and stay here as long as God let’s me stay here," said Orrand.
If you or a loved one are experiencing a current, unmet need as a result of the tornado, please call the Tornado Recovery Connection at 615-270-9255. This call line will be open 24/7.