Storm victims pick up the pieces in Mississippi - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Storm victims pick up the pieces in Mississippi

Community members sift through the rubble of a storm damaged home in McNeill, MS-WVUE FOX 8 Photo Community members sift through the rubble of a storm damaged home in McNeill, MS-WVUE FOX 8 Photo

McNeill, MS - On the day after Christmas, homeowners, family members and volunteers picked through the rubble of homes leveled by a likely tornado in hopes of salvaging treasured mementos. The savage storm cut a path through the community, damaging dozens of homes. While there were reports of eight people taken to hospitals with injuries, none were life threatening. Surveying the devastation, many in the community call it a miracle no one was killed. Witnesses described to FOX 8 how one woman survived even as her home collapsed all around her. The initial damage assessment from Pearl River County shows 34 homes were effected by the storm. 17 of those homes are destroyed.

Wednesday, the community pulled together to help. Many arrived at a fire station with blankets, clothing and suitcases for those who've lost their homes. People were celebrating the holiday when the storm hit. The winds tossed utensils that were being used to prepare holiday meals and trees that had been lovingly decorated. National weather service investigators are getting a look at the damage to determine if it was indeed a tornado. But witnesses surveying the destruction have few doubts.

Tony Bounds, Public Information officer for Pearl River County says a cold weather shelter opened Wednesday afternoon at the Southern Baptist Association in McNeill for those whose homes are intact but are still without power. They ask those who need to use the shelter to bring their own sleeping bags, pillows or linens.

The violent weather destroyed nearly 24 power poles and lines.

Mississippi's governor declared states of emergency in eight counties with damage from the storm.


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