It's been nearly two weeks since a devastating RV bomb exploded on 2nd Avenue near an AT&T site, causing immense destruction around one of the most historic parts of Downtown Nashville. The culprit has been identified. The national news media has left. The impacts on AT&T's cell and internet service have been mitigated. But the rebuild is just beginning, and it will be months if not years before 2nd Avenue looks anything like we remember it pre-Christmas Day.
So what's the situation downtown? Well, quite frankly, you're not getting down near the blast site unless you need to be there. As of Tuesday morning, the "restricted area" encompasses the area between First Avenue and Second Avenue from Commerce Street to Union Street. Only "bare minimum" workers (engineers, utility workers, first responders) are allowed inside that area, and even they are only permitted in the area between 7am and 4pm.
The area is still considered unstable, and the structural integrity of many of those buildings is very much in question.
But, if you want to help rebuild 2nd Avenue and help both residents and business owners who have been displaced, there are lots of ways to help. Nonprofits such as the Community Foundtaion of Middle Tennessee and United Way are accepting donations, and there are NUMEROUS retail outlets across Tennessee offering special items or sales with proceeds benefitting victims of the blast. Check out a few of those options, including GoFundMe pages for local businesses, here