Tomorrow marks the 10 year anniversary of a day that some people in Gallatin will never forget. On April 7, 2006, several tornadoes touched down in Middle Tennessee, destroying homes, businesses, and historical landmarks. The tornado that went through Gallatin cut a wide path of destruction that included the Vol State campus.
While many of the students currently at Vol State weren’t here or have no memory of the tornadoes, there are a few for whom that day will be forever marked in their minds. Barry Waggoner, a history major and returning adult student, considers himself fortunate. “I was at home, bunkered down. I was ready for it,” says Waggoner. But while he lost power for more than two hours, the tornado hit a few miles away from his house.
“I was driving,” remembers Alison Meyers, SGA Vice President. “It went from really sunny to really cloudy and weird in just a few minutes.” Meyers was almost home by the time she heard the sirens, and by then it was too late. “I looked up and the tornado was right there on the other side of the interstate. It looked like a huge gray storm cloud. I was in disbelief.”
Meyers worked at Urgent Care at that time but had the day off. The tornado struck close enough to blow out every window in the building destroy every car in the parking lot. “You can prepare and have this plan in your mind, but when it happens it’s not what you think it would be.”
Where were you when the F-3 hit Sumner County?
Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.