The 1998 Nashville Tornadoes

A Community United

When devastating tornadoes shook East Nashville

April 16, 1998 saw one of the largest tornado outbreaks the city of Nashville has ever seen. At least thirteen tornadoes touched down throughout Middle Tennessee and a F3 rating tornado blew its way through Davidson County. In East Nashville, dozens of historic homes were severely damaged. A resident of the area, Billy Fields, considered it a “terrible day, we had the loss of life at Centennial Park, injuries. But it was also a time where neighbors came together.” The most substantial amount of damage was at the Lockeland Springs and Edgefield neighborhoods. Damages were estimated to cost around $100 million dollars.

Some people saw the storm as a major catalyst for the area’s revitalization and preservation efforts. Residents of Nashville came together to help one another in the wake of the disaster. Outside help also arrived, including then serving Vice-President Al Gore Jr, who helped in the disaster relief efforts. One resident who remembered the event years later noted that many of his neighbors began to remodel their homes when the insurance checks came to cover for the damage.

While the community began to rebuild, there are still several physical markers serving as memorials to the past.