Morning Pointe Senior Living To Mark 1 Year Tornado Devastation Anniversary With Ceremony April 15

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Morning Pointe Senior Living is marking the one year anniversary of the Easter 2020 tornado with a special gratitude ceremony thanking the first responders and community partners who helped them through the recovery process. The privately-held ceremony will take place outside under the portico this Thursday at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga. Additionally, the ceremony will celebrate the reopening of the assisted living community, which welcomed residents back to the newly rebuilt building in November 2020.

One year ago, on Easter Sunday night, an EF3 tornado swept through the Chattanooga area
leaving a swath of damage and devastation. Two Morning Pointe buildings took a direct hit—
Morning Pointe of Chattanooga at Shallowford, 7719 Shallowford Road, and The Lantern at 
Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence, Chattanooga, 7620 Shallowford Road. Both 
campuses sustained significant damage, rendering them uninhabitable. All 130 residents were 
ultimately relocated—all under COVID protection protocols. While the Assisted Living building 
was reopened to residents in November, the Memory Care building is currently still under 
reconstruction.

“I’ll never forget the moment I got the phone call that a tornado had struck the Tennessee Valley, 
and that two Morning Pointe communities were in the center of its path,” said Morning Pointe 
president Greg A. Vital. “Our first priority that night was to secure all residents in a safe location 
and assess medical conditions. We are so grateful to our many community partners who were 
instrumental in this process, and no lives were lost.”

Officials said, "There were many area businesses that immediately jumped into action to assist Morning Pointe in the aftermath of the tornado—businesses like Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA), who were on-scene in the minutes after the tornado had cleared helping evacuate residents to safety along with Chattanooga Police Department and Chattanooga Fire Department. CHI Memorial donated sheets and bedding materials for residents who were 
sheltering in local hotels. Heritage Funeral Home, in conjunction with the Morning Pointe 
Foundation, organized a Disaster Recovery Donation Drive that helped bring in three tractor-trailer loads of donated toiletries and dry goods for residents who were displaced following the storm. Electric Power Board was instrumental in getting emergency power back to the devastated areas. Many other senior living communities donated time and expertise for whatever was needed, easing the recovery effort.

"Residents and associates spent much of 2020 eagerly making plans to move back to the newly 
renovated Morning Pointe communities, even amidst a global pandemic. Just before the holiday 
season in November, Morning Pointe of Chattanooga was reopened to residents amid much 
fanfare from associates eager to welcome them back 'home.' Construction crews are busy on-site at The Lantern readying it for an early summer homecoming for memory care residents. 
Those doors are expected to open mid-June."

“Anticipation continues to build around the reopening of Morning Pointe’s East Brainerd senior 
living communities,” said Franklin Farrow, co-founder and chief executive officer of Morning 
Pointe Senior Living. “We’ve been looking forward to this moment for many months, and it’s 
the culmination of the hard work of so many folks that we are able to, once again, reopen our 
campus to the wonderful seniors of Chattanooga. We look forward to continuing to serve the
area for many years to come.”


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