Good afternoon, everyone.
Our hearts go out to the residents of Madison, Hendersonville, Springfield, Clarksville, and the other communities affected by Saturday evening's storms. Tornadoes are one of the uglier features of life in Middle Tennessee.
If you grew up here or in the area known as Tornado Alley, you likely have a few key memories of storms washing as you hid in a bathtub or a basement. Two immediately come to mind from when I was in elementary school.
Most of us will be fortunate enough never to have to pick through rubble, wondering whether a loved one is dead or alive. I feel thankful for that fact every time something like this happens.
If you’re wondering how to best stay abreast of these storms when they do occur, I suggest following @NashSevereWx on Twitter or YouTube. They cover Davidson and Williamson County but will extend their coverage during storms like Saturday’s.
Additionally, if you’re interested in the broader weather developments that set the stage for Saturday, here is a great YouTube video talking specifically about El Niño’s effect on weather patterns in the Mid-South this year.
Megan has more on the particulars of the storms below, but if you’re interested in volunteering or donating, the mayor has directed everyone to nashvilleresponds.com. Additionally, the Tennessee Lookout compiled a set of resources on its website.
In other news, and on an equally somber note, Miles Harrington commemorates Titans legend Frank Wycheck, who passed away over the weekend.
❏ REMEMBERING FRANK WYCHECK
From Miles Harrington
“Dyson down the sideline, Dyson’s gonna go all the way!” Those words from ABC announcer Mike Patrick during the Music City Miracle on January 8, 2000 still ring in my ears to this day. A moment in Nashville sports lore that will live on until the end of time. When Titans’ WR Kevin Dyson broke loose with 13 seconds remaining in the 1999 Wild Card game to shock the Buffalo Bills, 22-16, there was little doubt this team was destined for the Super Bowl.
Yet, it did not come without controversy. Ask any Bills fan and even in 2023 they will insist the play should have been called back. The reason? Tight End Frank Wycheck’s magical jump-pass lateral that cracked the field wide open for Dyson to sail home free.
Upon initial review, the throw genuinely appeared to move forward, but a closer look told the full story. The release was true and the slightest movement in the oblong ball’s trajectory went backwards. Sorry, Buffalo, your boys in Tennessee were well on their way to being the final, distinguished AFC Champs of the millennia. While Kevin Dyson is heralded for scoring the game-winning TD, Frank Wycheck was the hero of the moment, and therefore the season.
❍ IN THE WAKE OF THIS WEEKEND’S TORNADOES
This weekend’s devastating storms claimed the lives of six people and hospitalized 83 more. On Saturday evening, an estimated 13 tornadoes with peak winds of 150 mph carved paths of destruction across Middle Tennessee. According to recent reports, the two largest tornadoes caused the most severe damage in Northeast Davidson County around Madison, Hendersonville, and Gallatin, and north of Nashville in Clarksville.
“Based on the damage, I’m declaring a state of emergency for Nashville and Davidson County,” said Mayor O’Connell on Saturday night. “We’ve partially activated our Emergency Operations Center and I’ve been in touch with state and federal partners.”
ON THE GROUND
Those who were directly hit on Saturday night described the storm’s approach as eerily calm before becoming a devastatingly destructive force of nature. “It sounds vague, like a big sound,” Natalie Qayed of Cumberland Bend told the Banner. “Then I heard the ripping, and I said to my husband, ‘What is that sound?’” she continued. “Now we know it was the roof in the back getting ripped off.”
POWER OUTAGE STATUS
As of this writing, Nashville Electric Service has been able to restore power to more than 38,000 customers. But, as freezing temperatures approach, the energy company reported that there are still about 6,000 households without power. As of yesterday afternoon, the Red Cross relocated their storm shelter for displaced victims to the Madison Community Center.
COLLATERAL DAMAGE: REPORTED FUEL SPILL
In yesterday’s storm report, Metro Water Services reported a 5,000-gallon diesel tank spill into Dry Creek, near the Cumberland River. Though the amount that spilled is unknown, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is monitoring the situation.
FAST AND FURIOUS
Even severe weather didn’t deter Nashville’s drag racing scene. On Saturday night, a pack of racers road hopped, setting up multiple meetups before MNPD arrested Christopher Troy Vaughn, 19, after coming upon 50 vehicles blocking the ramps onto Elm Hill Pike.
Street takeovers, reckless traffic weaving, drifting competitions, gas station takeovers, fatal crashes, and the drag scene’s connection to drugs and illegal firearms have pushed residents to the brink. This, combined with a doubling of grand theft auto cases, is likely why we’ve seen an uptick in support for LPRs in areas where racing has become a safety concern.
The core of the operation in this area can be traced back to Antioch, where street racing allegedly gained traction during the pandemic when the streets were barren. Despite local authorities’ best efforts, meetups continue to grow in size and attract young participants.
Harvard President Accused of Plagiarizing Ph.D. Thesis with Material Written by Dr. Carol Swain (Star) Dr. Carol M. Swain has responded to alleged documentation obtained by writer and political activist Christopher Rufo accusing Harvard University President Claudine Gay of plagiarizing “multiple sections” of her Ph.D. thesis from 1997.
Nashville shooter manifesto leak investigation concludes (LawOfficer) Metro Nashville Police Department said in an email Friday that investigators have “exhausted all available investigative avenues” searching for the individuals responsible in leaking portions of mass murderer Audrey Hale’s manifesto.
City Will Audit Metro Arts Over Unpaid Grants (Scene) Metro will audit the Arts Commission following ongoing frustrations over millions of dollars in operating grants for local arts nonprofits that are more than a month late in being distributed.
Headquartered in Tennessee, SmileDirectClub closes its doors (Channel 5) After years headquartered in downtown Nashville, SmileDirectClub has now informed its customers it will no longer exist.
THINGS TO DO
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