Former Granite Staters in Nashville witness deadly tornado

Former Granite Staters in Nashville witness deadly tornado


Former Granite Staters who now live Nashville witnessed a tornado that killed 22 people early Tuesday morning.>> Download the FREE WMUR appNew Hampshire native Alex Preston, a former “American Idol” contestant and musician now lives in East Nashville. He said he had no idea how severe the weather was going to be.”The rain started picking up really hard, and I had the window open,” he said. “It was the craziest storm I had ever seen.”He said the rain was pouring so hard he couldn’t see anything.”It happened so fast we just had no idea, but once we heard the sirens, the tornado warnings, that is when we thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is real,'” he said.J.C. Coffey grew up in Atkinson and was a broadcaster in New Hampshire for a dozen years. He said that while there is an occasional tornado in the Granite State, what he witnessed in Nashville was beyond anything he has experienced.”I can’t believe that some of the places that I frequent — you know, restaurants and bars and social establishments that I frequent — are leveled,” he said. “I can’t get over it.”Coffey said alarms started going off at about 12:35 a.m. Tuesday. He said he got up and went to the window, which he admitted wasn’t the smartest thing to do. “From my vantage point, there was rain, there was thunder, there was lightning, but yeah, I watched it cross the Cumberland River last night,” he said. Coffey said it was too dark to make out the funnel cloud, but he was able to trace the path of the storm.”The sky was lit up green, and then it would stop and then it would light up again,” he said. “What I was seeing was transformers exploding. I was in shock. In fact, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”The damage is still being assessed in the aftermath of the tornado. People are being asked to stay home and off the roads so first responders can get to those in need.”I can see the highway, I-40 from my window, and usually at this time, it’s rush hour, and there’s barely any cars on the roads right now,” he said.East Nashville and Germantown were hit especially hard, and Coffey said he’s glad he decided not to stay out late Monday night.”The restaurant that I was in last night with a friend of mine was leveled in Five Points in East Nashville,” he said.”They are still finding people in the rubble, and I believe there are over 40 to 50 structures that collapsed,” Preston said. “There is definitely a feeling of sadness.”Coffey said he’s aware that he’s fortunate because his home was completely undamaged. He said he doesn’t know how long it will take, but Nashville will be back.”It’s a very resilient town,” he said. “They persevered through a devastating flood, and, you know, we lean on each other.”Preston said he’s already seeing people come together.”Nashville is a really tight community,” he said. “It’s going to be really tough and really expensive to get over it, but people already seem to be coming together, which is really refreshing to see.”Coffey and Preston said they have connected with all their friends and family members, and everyone they know is OK.

Former Granite Staters who now live Nashville witnessed a tornado that killed 22 people early Tuesday morning.

>> Download the FREE WMUR app

New Hampshire native Alex Preston, a former “American Idol” contestant and musician now lives in East Nashville. He said he had no idea how severe the weather was going to be.

“The rain started picking up really hard, and I had the window open,” he said. “It was the craziest storm I had ever seen.”

He said the rain was pouring so hard he couldn’t see anything.

“It happened so fast we just had no idea, but once we heard the sirens, the tornado warnings, that is when we thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is real,'” he said.

J.C. Coffey grew up in Atkinson and was a broadcaster in New Hampshire for a dozen years. He said that while there is an occasional tornado in the Granite State, what he witnessed in Nashville was beyond anything he has experienced.

“I can’t believe that some of the places that I frequent — you know, restaurants and bars and social establishments that I frequent — are leveled,” he said. “I can’t get over it.”

Coffey said alarms started going off at about 12:35 a.m. Tuesday. He said he got up and went to the window, which he admitted wasn’t the smartest thing to do.

“From my vantage point, there was rain, there was thunder, there was lightning, but yeah, I watched it cross the Cumberland River last night,” he said.

Coffey said it was too dark to make out the funnel cloud, but he was able to trace the path of the storm.

“The sky was lit up green, and then it would stop and then it would light up again,” he said. “What I was seeing was transformers exploding. I was in shock. In fact, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

The damage is still being assessed in the aftermath of the tornado. People are being asked to stay home and off the roads so first responders can get to those in need.

“I can see the highway, I-40 from my window, and usually at this time, it’s rush hour, and there’s barely any cars on the roads right now,” he said.

East Nashville and Germantown were hit especially hard, and Coffey said he’s glad he decided not to stay out late Monday night.

“The restaurant that I was in last night with a friend of mine was leveled in Five Points in East Nashville,” he said.

“They are still finding people in the rubble, and I believe there are over 40 to 50 structures that collapsed,” Preston said. “There is definitely a feeling of sadness.”

Coffey said he’s aware that he’s fortunate because his home was completely undamaged. He said he doesn’t know how long it will take, but Nashville will be back.

“It’s a very resilient town,” he said. “They persevered through a devastating flood, and, you know, we lean on each other.”

Preston said he’s already seeing people come together.

“Nashville is a really tight community,” he said. “It’s going to be really tough and really expensive to get over it, but people already seem to be coming together, which is really refreshing to see.”

Coffey and Preston said they have connected with all their friends and family members, and everyone they know is OK.



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