Tuesday marks 15 years since downtown Nashville tornado - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Tuesday marks 15 years since downtown Nashville tornado

Posted: Updated:
  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Veteran to walk the length of Illinois to raise awareness

    Veteran to walk the length of Illinois to raise awareness

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:46:30 GMT
    The distance from Cairo, Illinois to the Wisconsin border is 435 miles. Will Trow will walk every mile.
    The distance from Cairo, Illinois to the Wisconsin border is 435 miles. Will Trow will walk every mile.
  • Debate about whether “Right to Farm” is right for Missouri

    Debate about whether “Right to Farm” is right for Missouri

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:45 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:45:00 GMT
    It’s a heavily debated issue that will come to a vote on the August ballot. It’s called "Right to Farm" or Amendment 1.Many farmers say it would protect them from too much government regulation, but other locals say it would keep the government from protecting the environment.
    It’s a heavily debated issue that will come to a vote on the August ballot. It’s called "Right to Farm" or Amendment 1.Many farmers say it would protect them from too much government regulation, but other locals say it would keep the government from protecting the environment.
  • Anna Fire Department to receive FEMA grant

    Anna Fire Department to receive FEMA grant

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:42:55 GMT
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded $1,607,356 in grants to eight communities throughout Illinois.
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded $1,607,356 in grants to eight communities throughout Illinois.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Tuesday marks 15 years since a tornado hit downtown Nashville in a storm system that left more than $100 million in damage across Middle Tennessee.

Ten tornadoes, including one in Lawrence County estimated to be the strongest in state history, swept across the region on April 16, 1998.

In Nashville, at least 30 downtown buildings and more than 300 homes were hit, and the recovery was the catalyst for the transformation of east Nashville into the popular hotspot it is today.

Lawyer Mike Jameson watched the tornado as it made its move along Charlotte Pike toward downtown Nashville.

"The tornado came through Nashville like a bread roller," Jameson said. "Even this building was swaying back and forth."

The storm warnings that day were too many to count, and Channel 4 Meteorologist Nancy Van Camp was on the air for 12 hours straight.

"We had just invested, at no small cost, in our first live radar and in the software that would go down to street level and say, 'This is on such-and-such street right now, and here's what time it's going to get to such-and-such community,'" she said. "I really felt that reduced the number of fatalities."

One person died in Nashville, but the toll could have been much worse, as at least 300 homes sustained damage.

While the severity of the storm was totally unexpected, it turned east Nashville into a giant, united neighborhood.

"The tornado, as ironic as it sounds, was a huge jolt of adrenaline, and there is no replacement for millions of dollars of insurance money pouring into a neighborhood," Jameson said.

But the most damaging tornado of all - the only EF-5 touchdown in Tennessee history - hit Lawrence County.

"We were saying, 'Wait, hold on, there is a bigger and badder tornado than the one that went through Nashville,'" Van Camp said. "It was a monster, because it debarked trees and pulled up clumps of grass."

The Lawrence County tornado even picked up a one-ton Dodge flatbed pickup truck and carried it airborne for 20 miles.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Also on KFVS12.comMore>>

Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.