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'It was like a war zone' | St. Louis natives survive deadly tornado in Nashville

KSDK-TV St. Louis logo KSDK-TV St. Louis 3/4/2020 Justina Coronel

Tornadoes ripped through the Nashville area early Tuesday morning, leaving at least 25 people dead.

The twisters shredded more than 140 buildings and buried people in piles of rubble and wrecked basements.

Police said many of the victims were hit before they could even get out of bed.

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One twister damaged a 10-mile stretch, leaving blown-down walls and roofs, snapped power lines and broken trees.

Among all the damage, 5 On Your Side heard stories of survival from St. Louis natives who now live in Nashville.

Florissant mom Carol Naes woke up to a message from her daughter asking, "Are you awake? Germantown got hit by a tornado!"

Her daughter Cassie moved from St. Louis to Nashville for her dream job. But early Tuesday morning, a tornado turned Music City into a nightmare.

"They were talking about how they were in their beds and their windows literally shattered above them as they were sleeping. They went outside and saw the destruction. They said it was unreal; it was like a war zone," Naes said.

Once outside, Cassie saw this damage to her apartment complex in Nashville's Germantown neighborhood.

a sign on the side of a building © Provided by KSDK-TV St. Louis

A bar she's used to going to was crumbled into bricks.

a house that has a sign on the side of a building © Provided by KSDK-TV St. Louis

But Cassie isn't the only person from St. Louis who witnessed what happened.

Paige Kaprelian, who's used to living in the Midwest, knew what to do, after hearing the tornado warning.

"I had two dogs that were with me, and I took them into the closet once it was clear something wasn't right," Kaprelian said.

When she went outside that's when it hit her. Her new city was now in shambles.

"The fronts of houses were off, the windows are off, cars had windows broken in," she added.

This damage also hits close to home for many St. Louisans, knowing their loved ones were close to Mother Nature's dangerous storm.

Even though they're shaken up, they said they believe in Nashville.

"Nashville is a strong city, Nashville will stick together, Nashville will rebuild," Naes said.


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