This week, it has been three months since tornadoes hit middle Tennessee. For many neighbors, the journey to rebuilding is still just beginning. For some, a few minutes each night came to symbolize community strength. 

It's simply love that Brooke Maroldi and husband Greg Ryan feel for their east Nashville neighborhood. 

"The energy was just great here," Brooke said. "We also found the people really welcoming."

They just moved here in November. This place was becoming home when a night in March came, and Brooke got a warning on her phone. 

"Get shelter now," she remembered. 

The tornado blew down homes and ripped away roofs in Brooke and Greg's neighborhood. 

"I remembering this feeling of 'this is big,'" said Brooke. "This is serious. I remember having this resolve. We're gonna be okay. We're gonna be okay. I was consciously trying not to panic."

"The houses that you see are actually the ones that survived," said Greg.

"There was a tree in this yard that crashed through my office," Brooke continued. "Part of the roof had blown off."

After eight long weeks of repairs, Brooke and Greg could return to that neighborhood they love. In coming home, they heard the neighbors up to something, something that happens at the stroke of 8 at night. 

People of all ages walk out onto their porches and yards and howl at the moon. 

"We're like, sure, let's howl," laughed Brooke.

It's called the Nashville 8 O'clock Howl. Some howl to let out stress from the pandemic. Some howl to honor hospital workers in the city.

"It's stress, tornado, COVID, uncertainty," said Brooke. "To get out and howl was so liberating."

Organized by people on Facebook, Sunday was the final official howl, though some have continued to howl in the days since. 

A heart shaped cut of a tree sits on Brooke and Greg's porch. 

"Even though this was the tree that smashed through my office, the tree symbolizes the heart of Nashville," Brooke said. "We're not gonna stop howling. We're gonna keep howling. That's all there is."

WSMV.com is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

>> Click/tap here to download our free mobile app. <<


Copyright 2020 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.