by Jake Feldman
Two large tornadoes surged through Middle Tennessee, including one tornado that devastated downtown Nashville on Tuesday, March 3.
The storm was a part of a dangerous system stretching from North Carolina to Texas, and around 1 a.m., a large tornado touched down just north of Nashville and made its way through the city around 2 a.m. Students on the campuses of Vanderbilt
University and Lipscomb University were alerted of the weather emergency and took shelter.
The storms left much of downtown Nashville in rubble. As of March 3 at 4:30 p.m., there are 22 confirmed deaths, downed powerlines, and at least 48 structures that have collapsed.
Chris Shields II, former campus minister at Rochester University and now worship minister at Woodmont Hills Church in Nashville, wrote on Facebook: "Thank you to everyone who has reached out so far. Kristan, me and the kids are safe. Pray for the people of Nashville today, and for our church as we are gathering info about and responding to the needs around us."
The nature and timing of the storm created a dangerous environment for everyone in Tennessee. Due to the storm being in the middle of the night, most people were asleep and did not have enough time to take proper precautions, according to Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter.
The death and destruction tolls are expected to continue to rise for the next few days, but first responders and disaster relief surveyors are on the ground in Tennessee. Nashville is under a state of emergency currently, and nearly 45,000 homes are without power.
How to Help
First responders from all over the country are already preparing to send relief to Nashville, including teams from southeastern Michigan.
Disaster Relief at Work and teams from the American Red Cross and United States National Guard will travel to Nashville in relief efforts.
If you are interested in donating, serving or volunteering, visit the websites of any of those organizations and learn how you can be a part of the tornado relief effort.