NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A year after the March 3 tornado, Nashville's Germantown community is still in recovery mode.
While some apartments and businesses have rebuilt and reopened, others are still trying to return to normal after an unprecedented year.
Wednesday marks a year since the #NashvilleTornado. We'd like to send love and strength to our community this week. Many will be anxious about severe weather this spring, so we're grateful to @NashSevereWx for sharing storm anxiety coping strategies: https://t.co/Wo1y10yyMZ pic.twitter.com/5iEKHX3C8G— Hands On Nashville (@HONashville) March 1, 2021
Defined by disaster and destruction, the focus 12 months ago was rebuilding after the devastating tornado.
"Our staff worked seven days a week, 12 to 17 hours a day," said Lori Shinton, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville.
"We probably would have been done with debris cleanup by the end of May, had we just been able to keep going."
But from the tornado to a pandemic just days later, it seemed Nashville couldn't catch a break.
"It was really bizarre to kick into fast gear, go go go, and then come to a complete halt for some time," Shinton said.
March 3, 2020 March 3, 2021 pic.twitter.com/Vaeipiaur4— Ryan Breslin (@RyBrez) March 3, 2021
Hands On Nashville was one of the volunteer groups helping the community then, and they're still helping now.
"There are people recovering and there are people out there who thought that they could recover on their own and maybe have not — and there's still help available for them," Shinton said.
Shinton says 300 people entered case management following the tornado, and 100 are still being served now to fully recover.
"We are in it until the end — until the last survivor hits recovery," Shinton said.
March 3, 2020 March 3, 2021 pic.twitter.com/JDbcXBfOEE— Ryan Breslin (@RyBrez) March 3, 2021
Finding affordable housing is just one of the roadblocks in recovery, along with a number of traumas seen in our city last year.
"It’s a traumatic event. And then the pandemic has been traumatic and isolating, and all of those things. And something like the bombing happens. It just retriggers the trauma," Shinton said. "The storms that come this time of year, we’re back in tornado season now."
"All of those things can be retriggering for survivors.”
Since the tornado last year, Hands On Nashville has joined with other non-profits to create a VOAD, or voluntary organizations active in disaster.
These organizations are ready with a preparedness plan should another disaster happen.