Stones River National Battlefield Recovering From Tornado Damage

Top photo shows the Hazen Brigade Monument area immediately after the tornado ripped through Stones River National Battlefield. The lower photo depicts a crew removing downed trees from the monument area a week after the tornado. NPS photos.

Crews at Stones River National Battlefield in Tennessee slowly but steadily are putting the battlefield back in order in the wake of a tornado that registered a 4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

On April 10 the twister ripped a 23-mile path through Rutherford County and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The storm killed two and damaged 845 homes, with 117 of those destroyed. Damage estimates currently exceed $41 million.

The tornado slammed into Stones River National Battlefield around 12:35 p.m., narrowly missing the visitor center but leveling thousands of trees. Park staff, visitors and passers-by all sought shelter in the basement of the visitor center, which had been designed as a bomb shelter when originally constructed in 1963. There were no injuries among park staff and visitors.

The emergency phase of the recovery is being managed by a Type 3 Incident Command Team. The incident commander is Wayne Elliott, chief ranger at Mammoth Cave National Park. Crews and personnel from Natchez Trace Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and many other park units are assisting in the recovery.

Stones River Superintendent Stuart Johnson says portions of the park – including the tour road, the Hazen Brigade Monument, and the boundary trail – remain closed to the public. The visitor center, national cemetery, the quarter-mile Pioneer Brigade trail, the McFadden Farm unit, Fortress Rosecrans, Redoubt Brannan, and the generals’ headquarters sites remain open.

The superintendent adds that the tour loop and Hazen Brigade Monument hopefully will both reopen to the public by next Wednesday or Thursday.

"Over the next few weeks and months, they may be closed periodically as we come back and do additional work," says Superintendent Johnson. "There is one section of our 'boundary' trail that may be closed quite a while due to safety issues."

To get the latest update on the recovery effort, check the battlefield's website here.

Comments

hello i think damage to the parks have to stop beacuse they might close them yes CLOSE them this is serious
the wildlife is suffering the pollution and the footpaths are being eroided by to many people walking along them think about it please
and SAVE OUR NATIONAL PARKS :)