Sequence of Photographs from the Nashville Tornado of April 16, 1998
Photographs courtesy of Derek Edwards


The tornado touched down at 330 PM CDT one mile west of Charlotte Pike and I-440. A tree fell on an ROTC student at Centennial Park. He died later on May 4 from his injuries. The tornado went through downtown Nashville at 340 PM and on toward East Nashville, Donelson, and Hermitage. The tornado blew out many windows in office buildings. The Nations Bank Office Towers were one of the hardest hit buildings in Nashville. Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) and the Tennessee Towers sustained damage. TPAC had over 100 windows blown out. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts from the Tennessee Towers, and was off the air for about 24 hours. Thirty private airplanes were damaged at Cornelia Fort Airport. Estimated damage to airplanes was 3 million dollars. Thirty-five buildings in downtown Nashville were "red tagged," meaning these buildings were structurally unsound. Many signs in Davidson County were blown down or severely damaged. The tornado blew down 3 out of 10 cranes on the construction site of the Tennessee Oiler's Football Stadium near the Cumberland River. The tornado continued east and hit the residential section of East Nashville. At least 300 homes were damaged in East Nashville. Many homes lost a good part of their roofs, trees were uprooted, telephone poles were knocked down. St Ann's Episcopal church, which is over 100 years old, received major damage. Uprooted trees and damaged roofs were the story across Donelson and Hermitage. Numerous windows were blown out from the Gaylord Building in Donelson. About half the trees (over a thousand) were blown down at Andrew Jackson's home, the Hermitage. Some of those trees were well over 200 years old, and a few of them were planted by Andrew Jackson himself. Mayor Bredsen closed downtown Nashville on Friday, April 17. The downtown area was reopened Monday, April 20. This gave time for cleanup crews to remove broken glass and repair downed power lines. Nashville Electric Service reported 75,000 customers were without power.


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