On April 10th 2010 a Category 4 tornado touched down in Murfreesboro Tennessee, killing a mother and her baby and destroying hundreds of homes. My daughter and her family lived just a couple blocks from this image….fortunately they or their house were not harmed. This image does not in anyway fully convey the damage and heartache that this storm caused… all in a matter of moments.


destruction, tennessee, tornado, trees


  • Dave7074
    Dave7074over 5 years ago

    Such A tragedy Karen and I am so sorry for the pain to your state. Dave

  • Thank you, Dave. As always…you have to be there to completely appreciate the scope of destruction. This tornado missed our daughter’s home by just a few blocks.

    – Karen Helgesen

  • back40fotos
    back40fotosover 5 years ago

    Oh my goodness! So glad your family is ok!!!
    What a scary power that wind can be. And you are so right..lives just change in a blink.

  • Thank you for your concern….it turns out that it was actually an F 4 tornado for a period of time….rather rare and very destructive.

    – Karen Helgesen

  • WaleskaL
    WaleskaLover 5 years ago

    Congratulations! On making the Top Ten in a First Things Group challenge

  • Thank you so much!

    – Karen Helgesen

  • Van Coleman
    Van Colemanabout 5 years ago

    WOW!! What a powerful, incredible shot Karen!! I remember when that F4 swept through Murfreesboro and it was all over the news; there was a lot of devastation to that town and some people’s homes were literally swept clean from their property!! I am so glad your daughter and her family were kept safe through this horrible nightmare. I tracked that storm system on radar and it was a huge tornado that tore up the town. FANTASTIC CAPTURE my wonderful, dear friend and a definite favorite for me!!!!!xx

  • My goodness! Your comments always make my day! You seem to be a very upbeat and bubbly person! Thank you so much! Yes, that tornado was unbelievable….it missed Katie and Jeff’s house by mere blocks. The picture truly doesn’t do it had to be there. I have never seen such destruction so up close…..

    – Karen Helgesen

  • Larry Llewellyn
    Larry Llewellynabout 5 years ago

    Wow, wind… Mother Nature can be so cruel.. Glad your family was ok….
    I was stationed on Kessler AFB ,in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1969 during hurricane Camille.. I took loads of colour slides… no one has seen my work… from back then.. I’ll never forget that night…..

  • Goodness! I just noticed I hadn’t thanked you! So…Thank you! Hurricane Camille must have been truly frightening! Our daughter went to Miss. after Katrina ( with her church youth group) to help with clean up…she brought home amazing photos, but just as this one barely captures the devastation, she said hers barely captured the devastation of Katrina…Mother Nature can be wicked..

    – Karen Helgesen

  • Larry Llewellyn
    Larry Llewellynalmost 5 years ago

    We just had 4 tornadoes touched down around Toronto, two days ago.. 600 homes destroyed of which 200 are unrepairable…..! Only had my phone camera with me, what a miss que.. for a photography op… glad in away poor folk who lost every thing.. no injuries amazing.

  • Karen  Helgesen
    Karen Helgesenalmost 5 years ago

    Hey there, Larry! (southern for, “hi”) Isn’t it unusual for tornadoes to form so far north? It is amazing the amount of damage that can occur in just a matter of moments…here in Tennessee two people lost their lives….and for them their lives changed forever in just a blink of an eye. The Murfreesboro tornado can be seen on YouTube…just search for murfreesboro tornado (duh) it is staggeringly huge…a category 4. We were fortunate to get into this neighborhood…we only did because my son-in-law had family/friends there who needed all the help they could get cleaning up. The police had the place locked down…no one could go in just to look around….so I was fortunate to be able to take some photos…but felt as if I was turning a tragedy into a photo op, so I didn’t take many….Boy! I sure can go on…I should’ve been a writer! Take care!

  • eelsblueEllen
    eelsblueEllenover 4 years ago

    Amazing shot, I am glad your family was safe but sad about the others. This never happens in my state so I am not very familiar with it but this photo shows how lucky we are! :) Nice documentary photo Karen!

  • Thank you, Ellen! This area was not as bad as some…people were not allowed in those areas…police everywhere. Homes in the hardest hit areas simply did not exist any longer, just the foundation. A catergory 4 tornado is powerful beyond belief

    – Karen Helgesen

  • Marie Sharp
    Marie Sharpover 4 years ago


  • WOO HOO! First feature in your new group! I am honored! Thank you so much!

    – Karen Helgesen

  • Barb Miller
    Barb Millerover 4 years ago

    Even in devastation there is beauty. Hugs and tears … God Bless. Barb

  • Thank you Barbara…very kind of you!

    – Karen Helgesen

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