Among the dozens of buildings destroyed after a tornado ripped through Middle Tennessee early Tuesday morning was a school building located in the Donelson area of Davidson County. New images surfacing online show the elementary wing of Donelson Christian Elementary completely destroyed as a result of the storms that passed through the area, the tornado leaving at least 21 people dead and hundreds displaced.
"The school was hit in 2010 with the flood so it's ironic it's been hit by a tornado a decade later," Alec Cort, the school's chaplain, told the Tennessean. "God is a mystery. Just like being a Christian, being a Christian school doesn't mean things can't happen."
Despite the heavy damage, the school's headmaster, David Singer, said that he was thankful the tornado passed through during the early morning hours and not during the busy school day.
"Some in Nashville are waking up to no homes," Singer said. "Three modular buildings are devastated, but a good portion of the building is in tact and looks solid. Today's all about planning. Board members have been helpful. We are resilient."
DRONE FLYOVER: TORNADO LEVELS SCHOOL: Tornado rips through Nashville, completely destroys Donelson Christian Academy. So far, there have been 9 confirmed deaths: https://t.co/5JvsgWALn2 https://t.co/cAkd85FJHr— FoxNashville (@FOXNashville) March 3, 2020
"I have no words," Phoebe Collum, a Donelson resident and 2015 graduate of the school, said of seeing the damage. "I got the warning in less than 10 minutes. We huddled and we prayed. Then it was gone. I was more worried about DCA. This place felt like my home."
Elsewhere in the area, dozens of other structures also sustained damage, with reports surfacing of one house completely destroyed while the roof of resident Ricordo Ruiz's home was blown off. The damage to the area became more apparent as the sun rose and emergency management and natural gas workers arrived, cutting apart downed trees to clear roads.
As a result of the tornado, schools across the Nashville metro area are closed on Tuesday.
"Metro Schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 3 due to the tornado damage throughout Nashville," Metro Nashville Public Schools announced in a tweet. "District offices will remain open and 12 month employees should report."
Meanwhile, Wilson County schools are closed for the remainder of the week as officials assess storm damage, WCS Deputy Director Mickey Hall said. In that county, West Wilson Middle School was damage.