By Billy Freeman, FirstNet Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor, and Gerald Risner, FirstNet Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor
Throughout the night on March 2-3, 2020, a supercell thunderstorm traveled through the middle of Tennessee, producing several violent tornadoes that wrecked multiple buildings and took several lives. Shortly after midnight on March 3, an EF-3 tornado with winds up to 165 miles per hour carved a path over 50 miles long through Nashville, severely damaging the local airport. As the supercell moved east, an EF-4 tornado touched down near Putnam County, producing winds up to 175 miles per hour – the strongest tornado the nation has seen in nearly three years.
The EF-4 tornado destroyed over 100 structures, including part of a local public safety radio tower. With this critical component damaged, responders turned to FirstNet to communicate and carry out damage assessment. READ MORE