The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is continuing to provide assistance to those residents affected by Monday’s tornado in Winston County. As MPB’s Paul Boger reports officials say it will take time to repair the devastation.
9 people are dead and at least one other is still missing after a tornado swept through the town of Louisville, Monday. Buddy King is with the Winston County Emergency Management Agency.
"We experienced a 40-mile long, one-mile wide, long-track tornado." said King. "During that pass it went through rural areas and homes and residential areas and impacted the county seat of the City of Louisville [sic]." said King. "We have confirmed fatalities associated with this storm, and we're still in the process today of identifying missing persons and reuniting families.
While the exact number of structures damaged in Winston County is not yet known, early reports say dozens of homes were heavily damaged or destroyed. The area’s only hospital was also hit by the tornado, leaving the facility with out power or water. Jim Craig is with the Department of Health; he says a temporary triage center has been established to provide medical assistance to those injured during the storm, and it’s subsequent clean up.
"One of our state field hospitals remains in Winston County along with medical teams from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and other healthcare facilities around the state providing services in the Winston County area." said Craig. "Those teams have treated and transported 31 adults and six children. Of those, 12 adults and three children considered critical."
State officials are also now concerned that volunteers could soon start making their way into the area, clogging the town’s infrastructure and delaying further aid. Robert Latham is the Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
"We encourage citizens that want to volunteer not to self-deploy." said Latham. "As you can imagine, when volunteers come to an area without being requested or coordinated by the appropriate authorities and organizations that can leverage those assets productively then it means we have to try to support those volunteers that are there. That we got work for them to do."
Despite the damage Lousiville Mayor William Hill remains optimistic.
"It is truly a trying day for the City ofLouisville." said Hill. Louisville will never be the same from what has happened, but we will overcome this."
The National Weather Service has categorized the tornado that passed through Winston County of Monday, as an EF 4 with winds gusting up to 190 miles per hour.