Columbus, Mississippi Trying to Rebuild After Storm Damage

Columbus, Mississippi Trying to Rebuild After Storm Damage
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Tornado strewn debris and fallen trees take their toll in Columbus
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

More than 35 counties in Mississippi are trying to recover from severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding that happened over the past week. So far, 500 residencies, 200 roads and bridges, and 30 businesses are affected statewide. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports on storm damage in Lowndes County where one person was killed.

Close to 900 people are without power and 19 injuries have been reported in Lowndes County after an EF3 tornado ripped through Columbus.

People have been coming to the Red Cross shelter at the Townsend Community Center seeking assistance. John Brown is with the Red Cross. He says the organization has seen around 1,500 people so far.

“Cots are used and blankets and warm places for people to have where they can't stay,” said Brown. “Food, counseling and then we’ll start from here assessing the community.”

Yolancer Nixon has lived in Lowndes County for 50 years. She's seeking assistance from the Red Cross. Her house was damaged after the storm and she's without electricity.

“If one person helps the next, we can soon clean up Columbus and be ready for the next tragedy or whatever that may come our way,” said Nixon. “God didn’t promise all days were going to be sunny days. So you have to stay prayed up for these days so you can have enough strength to carry on.”

About 252 homes have been damaged or destroyed by the tornado and one person was killed. Cindy Lawrence is director of the Columbus-Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency.

“It was home, after home, after home and business and there was so much destruction that I really never realized that we would have,” said Lawrence. “I thought maybe we would have some roofs, some shingles off roofs, or maybe some windows blown. Never expected the magnitude of the disaster that I saw.”

Emergency Management officials say it could take months for Lowndes County to rebuild.