ROLLING FORK, Miss. (WMC) – Garrett Miles said it felt like it took three seconds for the Rolling Fork Tornado to take down almost everything in his Mississippi Delta hometown.
“The shower walls were the only thing standing around me,” Miles told Action News 5.
Miles said it took him about half an hour to dig through the rubble of what was once his home, but when he got out, his first instinct was to run through his Seventh Street neighborhood to check on his neighbors.
“All of a sudden I heard another neighbor screaming,” Miles said. “That’s when we found out the couple next door to me didn’t.”
According to Miles, Malissa and Lonnie Pierce were killed when the 18-wheeler crashed into their home on Seventh Street.
“Materials can all be replaced, but lives cannot,” Miles said.
21 people were killed across the Magnolia State during Friday’s tornadoes; 13 of them were killed in Rolling Fork.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said he applauded President Biden’s quick response to approve disaster relief funds to help the devastated state.
Federal funding includes grants for temporary housing, home repairs, and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.
Governor Reeves, along with Rolling Fork Mayor Eldridge Walker, are confident that the community will recover “better than ever.”
But Miles isn’t so sure.
He told Action News 5 he’s not sure he’ll use the grant money to rebuild Rolling Fork, and he imagines many residents in the town of less than 1,900 feel the same way he does.
“Look around a bit,” Miles pointed out. “It’s going to take years to rebuild here.”
American Red Cross Mississippi Executive John Brown said the organization will be based in Rolling Fork for the foreseeable future, for those who stay and those who decide to start elsewhere.
But for Brown, who was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, he said it was heartbreaking anyway.
“As a Delta boy, from up north, it’s devastating,” Brown said with tears in his eyes. “It is devastating. Just devastating.”
Like Olive Branch, the city of Horn Lake is now accepting donations for Mississippi tornado victims.
“Imagine if you woke up in the morning and everything you worked for was gone,” said Horn Lake Mayor Allen Latimer. “You don’t have a home, you don’t have a job, you’ve lost friends and family members, it’s just. It’s unimaginable what those people are going through and they need so much. But the citizens of Lake Horn are very generous and compassionate people. are.”
You can drop off items at any of the three Horn Lake Fire Station locations through Wednesday morning.
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