A famous mural in Nashville is still standing tall amid extensive destruction all around it. In the aftermath of the tornado that killed at least 21 people and flattened at least 40 buildings, photos have surfaced of The Basement East, a live music venue in East Nashville, destroyed by the powerful winds. The famous nightclub was torn apart, yet its iconic "I Believe In Nashville" sign was the only partial wall left standing.
The venue's Facebook page confirmed that the staff is "all safe."
"Building is destroyed, but we will be back!" the post read.
The venue hosted a rally for presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders Monday night, just hours before the storm.
In 2010, the venue was rebuilt after it and much of Nashville was severely damaged by flooding.
The famous mural is one of many identical murals scattered throughout Nashville. Many Nashvillians took to social media to react.
The Basement East, all but destroyed, its “I believe in Nashville” mural left untouched💙 pic.twitter.com/j5wrtfrWZD— Rebecca Cardenas (@RebeccaWSMV) March 3, 2020
Like many folks around here, I’ve always rolled my eyes at the I Believe in Nashville murals. That being said, it’s hard not to be moved when you see a photo like this. pic.twitter.com/YA7R5cwvl2— clay misérables (@ClayLaSoul) March 3, 2020
At least 21 people are dead and 40 buildings are flattened following the two tornadoes that ripped through Middle Tennessee early Tuesday morning. Local news outlet WKRN's Josh Breslow reported that authorities said two died in East Nashville, one died in Benton County, 16 died in Putnam County and two died in Wilson County.
The Associated Press reported that the tornadoes caused about 40 buildings to collapse around the city.
"A tornado skipped across the county," Nashville Mayor John Cooper told the Tennessean while visiting an emergency shelter early Tuesday. "You do have people at the hospital and frankly there have been fatalities."
Authorities warned people to stay indoors, at least until daybreak could reveal the extent of damages, which includes blown-down walls and roofs, downed power lines and huge broken trees. Schools, courts and transit lines were closed, and several polling locations were affected just hours before Super Tuesday voting was set to begin.
Super Tuesday voting was delayed by an hour in Nashville and Wilson County due to damage across the region. Polls in those locations opened at 8 a.m., according to the Tennessee secretary of state. They will still close as scheduled at 7 p.m.
Nashville election officials an bounced several alternate polling sites to accommodate the damage. If voters in any precincts encounter problems on their route, they can vote at the election commission office at 1417 Murfreesboro Pike or the Howard Office Building at 700 Second Ave. S. Check with the Tennessean for a full list of affected voting locations.
A line of severe storms caused damage across Tennessee as it moved through the state after midnight. Buildings, roads, bridges, utilities and businesses were affected, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) spokeswoman told the Associated Press. One tornado near downtown reportedly stayed on the ground into Hermitage, about 10 miles east of the city. Other areas reporting extensive damage included Mt. Juliet (a city outside of Nashville) and Germantown (a Nashville neighborhood).
Images on social media show extensive damage to buildings, mangled wires on downed power lines and now-unrecognizable structures as the tornado reduced them to rubble.