NASHVILLE — The Tennessee House of Representatives held a moment of silent prayer Monday for persons killed or injured during last week’s tornadoes in Bradley, Hamilton and other counties in the state.
Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland, a captain in the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, described in dramatic detail how a mother had been clutching her 3-month-old child while talking on the cellphone with her own mother, who lives in Michigan.
“The tornado came through; the cell service went down,” he said. “The grandmother I mentioned tonight will no longer talk with her granddaughter or her daughter any more. The mother was found 300 yards away from the house with the little 3-month-old found in the house.
“People were mangled in trees,” Watson said. “Sights you’ll never forget ... They woke up just like I did, expecting they’d live tomorrow. But they’re gone. This could happen to any of us.”
He described patrolling the same Blue Springs Road neighborhood the next night to keep out looters, whom he described as the “scum of the earth ... They ought to be stuck under the jail.”
Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, described similar scenes and asked lawmakers to join in silent prayer.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...