The historic Church of the Assumption in Nashville has started the long walk back from the damage it sustained from the tornadoes that swept across the middle of Tennessee in March.
The repairs to the church, which was built in 1859 to serve German-speaking Catholics in Nashville, could take several years to complete and will cost an estimated $4 million to $6 million, said Fr Bede Price, parish priest.
“They just don’t know” the full extent of the damage, Fr Price said.
Construction crews already have been removing everything from the church, including pews, statues and other artwork, the Stations of the Cross, the pipe organ and all of the stained-glass windows. The items will be put in storage until they can be reinstalled.
The work crew plans to remove the plaster on the ceiling so they can inspect the roof and assess the full extent of the damage, Fr Price said.
The church “blew up like a balloon,” Fr Price told The Tennessee Register, Nashville’s diocesan newspaper. “The pressure on the windows was tremendous. They were saved because the roof popped off, releasing the pressure.”
Picture: A work crew in Nashville, Tennessee, repairs the Church of the Assumption on 21st April 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. At least two tornadoes tore through Middle Tennessee early on 3rd March, killing at least nine people and cutting a swath of destruction that stretched through the city for miles. (CNS photo/Andy Telli, Tennessee Register).