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Tornado victims find comfort in stories

BY SANDRA LYNN MARDENFELD | WALDROP, TN | May 4, 1998

WALDROP, TN (May 4, 1998) -- "When I first saw my neighborhood after the tornadoes hit, trees as big as

houses were on the road and everywhere. You had to travel through the

hedges to get places," said Rebecca Waldrop, the wife of the pastor of East

End United Methodist Church.

Since the April 16 tornado hit her Nashville community, Waldrop, has

listened to the stories of those effected as she's doled out candles, food

and sympathy. "We have told our stories over and over to each other. I

don't know why it helps but it does," she said.

The tornadoes that hit downtown Nashville and devastated historic East

Nashville were two of nine twisters to hit eight Tennessee counties. The

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency estimates that all together between

200 to 300 tornadoes swept across the state, although not all touched down.

The first tornado in Nashville hit with 100 miles per hours winds at 3:30

p.m. with and a second following at 5:15 p.m. The tornadoes were an

offspring of storms that hit Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio,

Tennessee and Michigan late April 15 and injured more than two dozen

people.

More than 3000 homes in Davidson County (where Nashville is located)

suffered major damage with more than 100 people sustaining injuries, mostly

from flying glass. More than 60,000 lost electricity with some 15,000 homes

going without power for more than a week.

The two twisters caused heaviest power damage in the eastern part of

Nashville, knocking electricity out about two-thirds of downtown Nashville

including schools, state and city government offices, homes and businesses.

Some 126 line and support crews and 57 other crews were needed to repair

power lines, trim trees and remove debris.

Posted May 4, 1998


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