SPC Stats

Path length: 23.25 miles

Width:  750 yards

Fatalities:  2

Injuries:  58

Rating:  EF4

County:  Rutherford

Maps

EF Scale Map

Corrected Coordinates Based on Analysis of Ground Level, Aerial, and Satellite Imagery, as well as all Reliable Damage Reports:

Start:  35.756124 / -86.651822     End: 35.917927 / -86.274785 

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.

SPC coordinates: 35.7579 / -86.848    End:  35.9145 / -86.2789 

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.

Imagery Map

Radar GIF

Summary

A substantial tornado outbreak swept across portions of the South throughout April 10, 2009. The strongest was an EF4 that rolled through the northern side of Murfreesboro. This summary provides a detailed analysis of the damage and documents the personal stories of those who lived through it.

The tornado developed at 12:19 pm CDT one mile north of Eagleville. As it began its trek northeastward, the vortex left a discontinuous path of damage. A barn on Shoemaker Road lost a portion of its roof. Groves of trees at a property across the street lost numerous branches and/or were completely uprooted. Another barn at a residence off the intersection of Shoemaker Road and Rocky Glade Road had pieces of its roof torn off. The path towards the northeast continued to be broken, with occasional downing of trees in both wooded areas and near a few residences.

Some of the first structural damage. Several months later aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

Heavy treefall first took place just north of Hill Road or 4.6 miles NE of Eagleville. The blowdown was initially sporadic, but dramatically increased in strength over the next half mile until it crossed Patterson Road. Here, a brick-veneer home fully collapsed, and a nearby trailer was thrown around 30 yards before disintegrating on impact.

The first area of substantial blowdown. Several months later aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.
Significant destruction where the twister crossed Patterson Road. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

Heather Majors, along with her husband, Lee, and son, Michael, lived in this trailer along Patterson Road. Heather was out of town at the time, but described in a September 25, 2009 interview with the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal the experiences of her family. Neither her husband or son knew about the oncoming vortex until Lee saw it as it made its way towards their trailer. The two quickly ran to a nearby ditch as the structure was thrown. Lee shielded Michael as the tornado passed overhead. Thankfully, neither of them was injured beyond a few scratches. In the same piece by the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal, the Majors’ neighbor, a man named Rick Sears, said, “When the tornado hit, the Lord put an impression on me to help these people.” Sears and many other volunteers helped rebuild the Majors’ residence in the months following. Six weeks after the tornado took their home, the entire family was baptized.

A home that was destroyed next to the trailer of the Majors family. Image from the NWS Nashville.

Significant treefall continued northeast from Patterson Road for roughly two-thirds of a mile, but sporadic uprooting of large trees persisted through Newman Road North. Here, a shed was destroyed, and a metal outbuilding was damaged. Two miles later, several buildings on a side road off Kingwood Lane sustained minor damage with sporadic treefall surrounding them.

After traversing another wooded area, the tornado made its way through several neighborhoods across Franklin Road up to Fortress Boulevard. A number of homes received roof and facade damage, and several sheds/storage buildings were completely destroyed. Another subdivision was impacted southwest of Blackman Elementary School, where many newer homes lost sections of roofing.

Damage around the intersection of Franklin and Brinkley Roads. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

The twister passed over Fortress Boulevard and encountered another residential block. Light damage was done to a few homes before the intensity dramatically increased just before it exited the neighborhood. In the northeastern corner, a few houses lost the majority of their roofs, and one fell apart after shifting off its foundation. A quintet of frame-built residences on Foxfire Court received varying degrees of exterior damage. Several sheds were destroyed, with large mature trees uprooted behind these homes. Dozens of houses on Spike Trail and Doe Drive were struck, with one losing most of its top floor. The video below shows the tornado in this area.

A home that collapsed off of Maya Drive. Image from the NWS Nashville.

Seventeen-year-old William Lane was out with his girlfriend when he decided to head back to his Doe Drive home, where his 14-year-old sister was alone at the time. His mother, Kim, was at Walmart running errands for Easter when her son called concerned about the approaching storm. Kim informed William that she would be finished at the store soon, but before checking out and leaving, employees hurriedly locked the doors and told customers to seek shelter. As the tornado approached, William realized that he needed to get himself and the girls somewhere safe to ride out the storm. As his sister and girlfriend climbed into the bathtub, William threw whatever blankets and pillows he could find on top of them before he jumped down as well. During the entirety of this ordeal, the teenager stayed on the phone with his grandfather even as the roof of the home was removed. Outside, a Camaro that William and his father had restored was flipped over. Even though her family’s life had been turned upside-down, Kim was simply grateful that her children had survived unscathed. In an interview with the Murfreesboro Post, she said: “This is all irrelevant… They’re not hurt. We can replace stuff, but God took care of them. God put angels around them and protected them.”

A wider view of Doe Drive and the surrounding neighborhood. The home of William and Kim Lane is located at far top right. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

The violent stovepipe crossed I-24 and passed through an undeveloped open field. Near the intersection of Conference Center Boulevard and Medical Center Parkway, metal light posts were ripped out of the ground. Power poles were snapped as it followed Wilkinson Pike into another neighborhood. Some of the tornado’s worst damage yet was done at the southwest corner of this subdivision. Three houses were flattened nearly down to their foundations, with debris scattered away from the sites. At one of the homes, an RV was flipped onto its side. A clear multi-vortex structure was evident here, as two neighboring residences that did not experience significant damage were flanked by those that were leveled. Only one of these homes would be rebuilt. The video below shows the tornado as it crossed the interstate.

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An aerial view of the destruction.

A before (2008) and after (several days later) GIF view of destruction along Wilkinson Pike and Highland Park Drive. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

Four images from the NWS Nashville showing damage in this area.

Juanita and David Stubbs were in one of the “lesser” hit houses on Wilkinson Pike. Their home suffered moderate roof damage, an attached deck collapsed, and a garage was obliterated. In an interview with the Daily News-Journal, David said, “We heard a big bang. We didn’t know what it was. It’s a shock to look around and see the damage. Family is most important. We’re fortunate no one was hurt.”

From here, the storm churned into Highland Park, West Park, and Crosspark Drives. Dozens of residences were enveloped by the tornadic winds and sustained various degrees of damage. A number were destroyed, including two with no walls left standing.

God gave you a testimony, tell it… It might help somebody else, and that’s the way I look at this right now.

Debra Fuller

At one home on Crosspark Drive lived Debra Fuller. Before moving to Tennessee, she had resided in Oklahoma for over two decades and was well aware of the devastation a violent tornado could bring. However, up to then, she had not experienced a twister firsthand. Unaware of the forecast for the day, Debra went about her plans, which included running a few errands in preparation for a trip to Florida. She decided to forego a pedicure due to the threat of rain and so headed home. After Debra returned to her house, she tried to call her husband, but was unable to get through as the connection died. Suddenly, she heard a roar like that of a locomotive. As the tornado impacted the structure, Debra hid in her bathroom, praying loudly. Thankfully, she did not sustain any injuries. She credited her survival to her faith, saying, “God gave you a testimony, tell it…It might help somebody else, and that’s the way I look at this right now.”

At center, the home of Debra Fuller. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

After ripping apart the community, the tornado moved into the Stones River National Battlefield. Hundreds of trees in a forested area of the historical site were downed. Thankfully, guests and staff at the park were quickly sheltered in the visitor center, which was originally built to be a bomb shelter during the Cold War. In aerial imagery more than a decade later, a noticeable scar in the vegetation is still evident. The video below shows the twister from near the interstate to areas beyond the battlefield.

A number of trees downed at the battlefield. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

A few businesses on U.S. 41 were next in the tornado’s path. Despite it being Good Friday, a number of employees were still at the Huddleston-Steele Engineering Inc. offices. One of the business partners noticed the funnel in the distance and quickly ushered everyone in the office into the back of the building. Thankfully, no employees were hurt, though the facility was heavily damaged. The video below shows the twister moving through this area.

A wide, labeled view of various businesses hit in this area. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.
An image from the NWS Nashville showing the damage to the Huddleston-Steele building.

Next to Huddleston-Steele was a Shell gas station owned by Mary Ramsey. She was unaware of the rapidly approaching twister until her brother, who was watching coverage on the Weather Channel, called her. Employees and customers took shelter in a small hallway as the tornado passed overhead. Miraculously, no one at the store was injured. Damage was widespread on the property, with windows smashed, fuel pumps broken loose, ceiling tiles dislodged, and many trees behind the building uprooted.

Even more businesses were affected along North Thompson Lane several hundred yards to the northeast. On the western side, the Cummings Signs building was struck. It was already closed down prior to being hit, and the owners demolished what was left as the cost of repairs outweighed the benefits. Adjacent and to the north, ITNOLAP Pallet and Crating sustained a direct hit. A metal building was bashed in, and more than a dozen tractor-trailers were tossed about like toys. Per the Murfreesboro Post, they lost around $500,000 of machinery and equipment. The company relocated to another part of town.

A view of ITNOLAP Pallet and Crating after the storm. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

Across the street, Designscape lost much of its roof and did not rebuild. Mayfield Floor Covering and Carpet suffered a similar fate, and a different business was eventually constructed on their former location. The Stampedes Dance Hall & Saloon actually used the damage as a chance to upgrade their business. They installed, among other improvements, new flooring, bars, roof, and air conditioning.

Greenway Office Park was especially hard-hit. The two-story office building lost nearly its entire top floor. Swanson Construction, the owner, was able to recycle 80% of the debris and rebuilt on the same spot. One business that had office space leased in the structure was Huddleston-Steele Engineering, the headquarters of which had already been hit moments earlier. Per the Murfreesboro Post on April 13, 2009, six or seven employees were still inside when it was hit. The president of the company, Bill Huddleston, called and warned them of the approaching storm. By the time the tornado arrived, all workers were safely sheltered in a bathroom and unharmed.

An image from the NWS Nashville showing what was left of Greenway Office Park.

J.O. Clark Realty also operated out of Greenway Office Park. Gina Kellum, a broker for the company, felt as though she had been tapped on the shoulder and instinctively looked out her window. Staring right back at her was the rapidly approaching tornado. Per an April 12, 2009 edition of The Daily News Journal, “Kellum, together with eight other employees and a passer-by with six children, hid in a downstairs bathroom just before the tornado hit the building. Her top floor office no longer exists.”

Behind Greenway Office Park, the twister churned over West Fork Stones River. Running along the western bank is the Murfreesboro Greenway, a popular trail. David Young, the pastor of the North Boulevard Church of Christ, knew that storms were possible that day. He had no idea that there was any possibility of tornadoes. Per an interview done by the Christian Broadcasting Network, he “wanted time to pray and prepare for the upcoming church services. He began his run despite the ominous clouds on the horizon.”

David noticed a rapidly growing rumbling noise about two miles into his jog. He eventually realized what was about to happen and grabbed onto a tree. David was battered by flying debris and sustained a gash to the head and a broken leg. After the storm passed, he began to slowly move towards the road. Two men eventually found David and transported him to a hospital. In an April 10, 2019 piece by News Channel 5 Nashville, he recounted, “It dawned on me that a tornado is nothing other than moving air, it’s not a monster, it’s not a demon, it’s just wind.”

IMG_3388

Homes damaged or destroyed along the West Fork Stones River. David was located along the trail at center-right.

On the other side of West Fork Stones River, a handful of homes along Riverview Drive and Stratford Road were enveloped by the circulation. Karen Painter and her three sons, aged four to fourteen, put bicycle helmets on to protect their heads. The family wrapped their arms around one another in a hallway closet. Per an April 7, 2019 article in The Daily News Journal, they closed the door as the power went out, the sky turned black, and the “sound of a hundred jet engines roared.” Karen stated, “It was horrific. We started praying, screaming so loud. There is no way to describe the intense pressure … we felt like our heads were going to explode.” Part of the roof was removed, but no one in the family was hurt. The Painters were able to rebuild their house. Karen stated ten years later that since then, she has had a lasting fear of storms.

A view of the neighborhood. The Painter family home is located at direct center. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

Few structures were hit over the next half mile. The vortex grew even more powerful, shredding apart a large grove of trees before entering a solid block of suburban neighborhoods. It invaded this densely populated portion of Murfreesboro by blasting through homes on Tomahawk Trace, Battleground Drive, and D’Ann Drive. Several houses were completely swept from their foundations, and a number of others were destroyed.

Trees flattened in between neighborhoods. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.
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An aerial view looking downwind along the tornado track through this densely populated area.

It is a Good Friday. We are all alive. It’s a Friday not to forget.

Jennifer Farley

Jennifer Farley and her two teenage sons surrounded themselves with pillows and cushions in a closet. She prayed as the entire roof, and two bedrooms from their Tomahawk Trace dwelling were snatched by the wind. Per an April 11, 2009 article in The Tennessean, “It hit, and we felt things shifting. It was over in 45 seconds. It is a Good Friday. We are all alive. It’s a Friday not to forget.”

Jennifer’s husband, Don, raced back from work to find his house destroyed, family minivan crumpled, but all of his family completely unharmed. He told a reporter from The Tennessean, “I’ll cut you a deal on the van.” One month later, the Farleys were doing well; friends, their church, and the Red Cross provided incredible support. One family temporarily opened up a vacant residence for them, and 40 people from their church fixed it up. In a May 12, 2009, Daily News Journal article, Jennifer recalled that after being handed an $830 gift card, “The man at the Red Cross said, ‘This is a gift from the American people.’ It was very, very nice.”

An image from the NWS Nashville showing the destroyed Farley dwelling.

Judy Reed headed home that Good Friday afternoon after receiving a call from a neighbor letting her know that a tornado warning had been issued. Judy’s husband, Brian, was away at work in Nashville. Her 14-year-old daughter Tori and two of Tori’s friends were present at the Reed residence. Located at the intersection of Battleground and D’Ann Drives, it was one of the hardest-hit spots along the path.

By the time Judy arrived, the teenage girls were already set up in a closet with blankets, pillows, and a TV. Per a July 7, 2009 article in the Baptist Press, Judy stated, “We were sitting in a dark closet, singing ‘You Are My Sunshine.’ Then we heard the freight train sound.”

Twister

A photo of the tornado when it was near or overtop of the Reed home.

The entire home shattered, and the debris – including the four occupants – were blown off of the foundation together. The teenagers were left with not much worse than scratches, but Judy was in trouble. One of her vertebrae shattered, and her ribs, sternum, and collarbone were fractured. Two men from the neighborhood, one of them a stranger, quickly found the group and stayed with them until an ambulance could get through and transport her to the hospital.

The location where the Reed home once stood. Image from the NWS Nashville.
More damage surrounding this location. Image from the NWS Nashville.

A before (2008) and after (several days later) GIF view of destruction along Tomahawk Trace, Battleground Drive, and D’Ann Drive. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

The physical recovery was difficult for Judy, and she gave up her job due to the lasting pain in her back. Still, she was grateful for the overwhelming generosity of her church, which provided for the family’s every need. “Our church family has been the biggest blessing. You don’t realize what a blessing they are until you go through something like this and you have to draw on their strength and hospitality,” she stated.

In the Good Friday Tornado Project site by Middle Tennessee State University’s School of Journalism and the Daily News Journal, Judy noted, “More good than bad has come out of this, really… We were a two-income family with a mortgage living off one income. We were able to pay off our credit card debt because we had equity in the home and got insurance money… It’s a lot easier not having a lot of stuff.”

The continuing path of the tornado through residential areas. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS and overlaid into Google Earth to show street names.

It’s like thunder that never breathes.

Kathy Bennett

Dozens of additional homes were lost to the storm as the twister churned from Henry Hall Drive another third of a mile to Cornwall Court, where Randy and Kathy Bennett resided. They began to hear an unusual roaring noise, which prompted Kathy to ask her husband whether they should go to a closet. Randy walked down the hall to get a look outside. Before he could exit, their front window shattered. He saw a gaping hole begin to form in the living roof ceiling before he and his wife shut themselves in a closet. Kathy recalled that the noise was “like thunder that never breathes… It was like almost you’re out of your body watching what’s going on instead of actually being there.”

Though portions of the outer walls were smashed, the couple was able to crawl out of the interior room unharmed. In the Good Friday Tornado Project site where this story was documented, the couple said they were grateful for all the people who came to their aid in the aftermath and also for their new dog Angel, who was born the same day as the tornado. They also noted that a home “is like a haven; it shelters you and makes you feel safe.” According to Kathy, “It was like a friend. It saved our lives because it sheltered us that one last time.”

A view of the continuing destruction through residential areas. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.
The badly damaged home at center left was that of the Bennetts. Image from the NWS Nashville.

To literally lose everything, to lose the beginning of a life or the next chapter, to lose your child and wife and home and pictures and memories, and to be told you’re not going to get it back. Then to hold Lucas, it doesn’t get any better. Then life starts again.

John Bryant

About 250 yards to the northeast, near the intersection of Haynes Drive and Sulphur Springs Road, was the home of Eric Funkhouser. In an April 12, 2009, Associated Press article in the Brownsville Herald, he noted that the worst sound he ever heard was the ten-second “voom” of the tornado. “It sounded like seven freight trains and 22 vacuum cleaners all going at the same time,” he said the next day. As the twister moved away, the air was instead filled with a person’s screams. Eric ran out of his home and found the source of the cries. His neighbor from across the street, John Bryant, was now covered in blood and laid out on his lawn. Per Eric from the article, “He kept saying that his wife and baby were out there with him and he had to find them.”

Kori, 30, and nine-week-old Olivia Bryant were both in the house that afternoon. Kori called her husband (John) at work due to worries about the impending tornado threat. He returned home, and the duo began taking their safety precautions, including strapping baby Olivia into a car seat and John holding a mattress over the other two.

Soon enough, the twister arrived. Per The Daily News Journal on April 13, 2014, “It got louder and louder, like a jet engine,” John recalled. “… Then I started hearing creaking and three seconds later, you felt a pressure change and I looked up and the roof was gone. I’m looking up inside the tornado and I just closed my eyes…. I said, ‘This is it,’ meaning, ‘I’m gonna die.’”

Twister

A photo of the tornado when it was near or overtop of the Bryant home.

Despite his best efforts, John was ripped away from his family. Per The Daily News Journal on October 11, 2009, “I could see them (Kori and Olivia) in what used to be the hall of our house. I’m getting pulled higher and higher; just floating at a steady speed.” This was the last thing he remembered. Some time later, John awoke, draped in power lines in a ditch across the street, approximately 100 yards from where his home once was. There was nothing left but the cinder block foundation.

At left, the foundation where the Bryant home once stood. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford GIS.

With the help of Eric, John was raced to the hospital. He was in critical condition, with half of the muscles on his right side torn from his bones; four broken ribs; a collapsed lung; five broken vertebrae and tailbone; a severe concussion; and internal bleeding. John spent ten days in a critical care unit and another seven at a nursing facility. The pain and effects of some of his injuries remain permanent.

Survivors, volunteers, and rescuers eventually found Kori dead underneath debris in their gravel driveway. Olivia’s body was located underneath a tree and carpet, still buckled into the car seat. Kori was remembered as a loving person who enjoyed photography and working in an after-school program for public housing. Olivia was “a beautiful little girl.” In The Daily News Journal, John recalled that “Kori came to him about two weeks before the tornado and was crying. I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ She said, ‘Nothing, I just love Olivia so much.’”

The physical and emotional recovery over the next year was difficult. In the first few days of recuperation, John said, “I asked my mom to get pictures and everything that was left…. So several people… put together a collage on poster board and I just sat there…and just looked at them and remembered and just cried. If I hadn’t done that, I probably wouldn’t be well.”

John tried to move past his grief and pain despite the complete loss of his family and everything he had. His community helped replace as much as possible, which eased his suffering. Still, “I didn’t think I could find a wife again. I didn’t know if my mind and body would heal…. I didn’t think anyone would accept me with the baggage I have. I wasn’t interested in getting together with anybody. I could barely walk. I hurt 25 hours a day. I had trouble sleeping just because of the pain, so a girl was the last thing on my mind.”

A girl may have initially been the last thing on his mind, but it was about to become the forefront of his reality. One year after the storm, John ran into a woman named Colleen at a disaster readiness awareness event where he was promoting the importance of storm shelters. The two instantly fell in love. In an emotional account five years later, he stated, “She’s like a big ball of sunshine, butterflies, and sugar and spice and everything else…. I just love her… Without her, I wouldn’t be who I am or the man I hope to be. She’s a pretty incredible person.” The two married in early 2011.

Doctors told John that he would never be able to father a child again due to his injuries. His reproductive system seemed to be damaged beyond repair. Miraculously, however, they welcomed a new baby boy, Lucas, into the world on April 22, 2013. This second chance at fatherhood was tremendously beneficial for his healing. Five years after the tornado, John noted that he “couldn’t be more blessed.” He stated, “Icing on the cake was to have Lucas come out… and me get to hold him within three minutes of his birth was pretty special when you don’t think you’re ever gonna have that…. To literally lose everything, to lose the beginning of a life or the next chapter, to lose your child and wife and home and pictures and memories, and to be told you’re not going to get it back. Then to hold Lucas, it doesn’t get any better. Then life starts again.”

The twister showed slightly more mercy to homes across another 2/3rds of a mile of solid suburban neighborhoods. Portions of roofs were removed from a few dwellings, but none were completely leveled like that of the Bryant’s. The next mile and a half saw a weakened form of the vortex moving over fields and a couple of scattered subdivisions. The tornado narrowed to 370 yards (0.21 miles) across and became destructive again as it gashed a thin arc of destruction through a neighborhood starting at Esquire Drive through Meadowhill Drive, Penny Lane, and Westbrook Drive.

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A photo of the tornado when it was near Penny Lane.

Relatively minor damage from when the vortex was temporarily weaker. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.
Vegetation damage caused as the tornado regained some of its strength. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.
A narrow but intense arc of severe damage from Esquire through Westbrook Drive. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

An officer of the Murfreesboro Police Department, Kevin Dunn, arrived on Penny Lane to a woman, Trina Brewington, searching for her ten-year-old missing son Ethan. While Trina’s home was not hit, her child was at a friend’s house in the damage path. Kevin soon found the boy about a block away. While Ethan was unhurt, he couldn’t get up and walk due to recent surgery on his legs. Kevin gave him a piggyback ride to his mother, who was very grateful for his help. When commended for his actions that day, Kevin responded in an April 19, 2009 article by The Daily News Journal, “I gave a scared kid a piggyback ride to his scared momma. I was just doing my job, along with the other officers out there.”

Just yards away was the home of Terry Long, her partner Susan, and their 30-year-old daughter Beth. They barely sought shelter in time after the door to their attic was sucked inwards. The trio huddled under a mattress in a bedroom closet. The roof was ripped off, but no one was harmed.

The core winds of the tornado may have narrowed even further after leaving Westbrook Drive. It moved past Compton Road and left only the kitchen wall standing of a two-story residence on Bushnell Drive. Part of a roof was removed from a house on Sanford Road, and a garage was swept entirely away on Betty Ford Road. The twister weakened and moved over more sporadically occupied areas northeast of Murfreesboro and across Highway 96. Several trees were uprooted, but just one house was substantially damaged when a wall partially collapsed. The twister quietly dissipated on the west side of Lofton Road, 1.3 miles SE of Lascassas.

An image from the NWS Nashville showing the destroyed residence along Bushnell Drive as the debris was being bulldozed.
A garage swept away along Betty Ford Road. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.
The final home to be damaged before the twister dissipated. Aerial imagery provided by Rutherford County GIS.

In all, the tornado tracked for 24.46 miles and reached a peak width of 870 yards. Its journey lasted approximately 36 minutes, and in that time, it impacted more than 800 homes and several hundred other structures. More than 18,000 residents were left without power for days after the tornado. Several reports suggested that the total amount of debris removed and transported to the Rutherford County landfill was close to 5100 tons. According to the Storm Data Publication, damage costs totaled $100 million.

In the wake of the disaster, many local and state officials toured the damage. Within days of the tornado, aid arrived swiftly and from many sources. The Red Cross utilized 16 Lowe’s locations to coordinate aid and relief efforts. The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties organized a Long Term Recovery Fund to collect donations to give 100% of proceeds to victims. Michael Waltrip Racing, a prominent NASCAR team, teamed up with Best Western and the United Way to help victims by giving out over $7500 and assisting with lodging for those left homeless. The Red Cross gave out around 15,000 meals and thousands more comfort kits to victims.

In Loving Memory

Kori Bryant, 30

Olivia Bryant, 9 weeks

Discrepancies:

We gathered information for this event from the SPC and NCDC Databases, the April 2009 Storm Data Publication, the NWS Nashville Event Page, and analysis of aerial and satellite imagery and found the following significant differences:

Start Point:

  • The SPC and NCDC start coordinates are situated over 26 miles WSW of Murfreesboro. This is impossible as it is further away from Murfreesboro alone than their entire given path length of 23.25 miles. It is also 33.7 miles from the given end point, which is the same for all sources.
  • Our corrected start point based on aerial and satellite imagery is 15.6 miles SW of Murfreesboro, matching the location given in all official narratives and the NWS Event Page track map.

      Sources:

      The Storm Prediction Center

      April 2009 Storm Data Publication

      NCDC Storm Events Database Entry-Rutherford County

      NWS Nashville Event Summary

      Flickr

      Google Earth

      Google Maps

      USGS

      Rutherford County GIS

      DeGennaro, N. (2019, April 8). As the good Friday tornado passed overhead, the pastor who clung to a tree saw angels. The Daily News Journal. https://www.dnj.com/story/news/2019/04/07/murfreesboro-good-friday-tornado-survivor-clung-to-tree/3286439002/

      DeGennaro, N. (2019, April 8). Good Friday Tornado 2009: ‘we honestly knew we were going to die’. The Daily News Journal. https://www.dnj.com/story/news/2019/04/07/murfreesboro-good-friday-tornado-2009-path-destruction/3314056002/

      DeGennaro, N. (2019, April 8). Murfreesboro good Friday tornado: 10 years later, scars across landscape linger. The Daily News Journal. https://www.dnj.com/story/news/2019/04/07/2009-good-friday-tornado-in-murfreesboro/3281938002/

      Edgemon, E. (2017, October 26). Broad street, Thompson Lane businesses assess damage. The Murfreesboro Post. https://www.murfreesboropost.com/news/business/broad-street-thompson-lane-businesses-assess-damage/article_e2da7052-d93c-5f8d-9f1b-05983d178b95.html

      Edgemon, E. (2017, October 26). Rebuilding continues in wake of good Friday tornado. The Murfreesboro Post. https://www.murfreesboropost.com/news/business/rebuilding-continues-in-wake-of-good-friday-tornado/article_383388de-4211-5220-bc12-da8dfec76c3f.html

      Edgemon, E. (2017, October 26). Thompson Lane sees Rebirth after storm. The Murfreesboro Post. https://www.murfreesboropost.com/news/thompson-lane-sees-rebirth-after-storm/article_1ec21c85-8910-5ba3-8c26-c66802b5f239.html

      Good Friday tornado, Rutherford County, Tennessee, 2009, a journalism school project. (n.d.). https://ploubere.com/tornado/neighborhoods.html

      Koehn, A. (2019, April 11). Today marks 10 years since Deadly good Friday tornadoes. WTVF. https://www.newschannel5.com/news/today-marks-10-years-since-deadly-good-friday-tornadoes

      Lonnie Wilkey. ‘it is a miracle that we are alive’. Baptist Press. https://www.baptistpress.com/resource-library/news/it-is-a-miracle-that-we-are-alive/

      Murfreesboro, TN Tornado: Press release 4.14.09. American Red Cross Disaster Newsroom. (2009, April 16). https://redcross.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/murfreesboro-tn-tornado-press-release-41409/

      Mwr. (1970, January 1). Best western/michael waltrip racing tornado relief efforts. MWR NEWS. http://michaelwaltripracing.blogspot.com/2009/04/best-westernmichael-waltrip-racing.html

      Partners, P. F. (n.d.). Insurance advisor becomes advocate after Tornado. https://www.pnfp.com/resources/case-studies/insurance-advisor-becomes-advocate-after-tornado/

      Robert Hull – 700 Club Producer. (2018, September 14). Jogger finds himself in the eye of the storm. CBN.com. https://www1.cbn.com/700club/david-young-eye-storm

      Senators Corker, Alexander to tour tornado damage on the Murfreesboro Post. (n.d.). https://web.archive.org/web/20110717101335/http://www.murfreesboropost.com/news.php?viewStory=16495

      Stones River National Battlefield recovering from Tornado Damage. Stones River National Battlefield Recovering From Tornado Damage. (n.d.). https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2009/04/stones-river-national-battlefield-recovering-tornado-damage

      The Brownsville Herald, April 12, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/667191818/

      The Daily News-Journal, April 7, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/591285420/

      The Daily News-Journal, April 11, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/291376370/

      The Daily News-Journal, April 12, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/291377652/

      The Daily News-Journal, April 13, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/109782435/

      The Daily News-Journal, April 19, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/291399337/

      The Daily News-Journal, April 22, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/291404969/

      The Daily News-Journal, May 12, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/291170757/

      The Daily News-Journal, September 25, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/291177956/

      The Daily News-Journal, October 11, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/291212405/

      The Daily News-Journal, April 13, 2014. https://www.newspapers.com/image/109782473/

      The Murfreesboro Post, April 12, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/694752587/

      The Tennessean, April 11, 2009. https://www.newspapers.com/image/283312431/

      United Way partners with local businesses to help tornado victims. United Way Partners with Local Businesses to Help Tornado Victims : WGNS Radio. (n.d.). https://web.archive.org/web/20090417224055/http://www.wgnsradio.com/united-way-partners-with-local-businesses-to-help-tornado-victims/7249/

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      1 Comment

      Scott Currier · March 13, 2022 at 8:56 pm

      Fine writeup. You’ve got to feel for those people. The name sounded familiar so I looked it up. April 74 during the super outbreak, January 1997, April 2002, and April 2009. April is approaching again, the anxiety level in Murfreesboro must be rising.

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