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Mississippi Recovering Following Tornado Outbreak

By Daniel Cherry | Published 18 Apr 2011 02:16pm | comments

Victims are picking up the pieces and trying to return to their lives after a deadly outbreak of storms devastated parts of Mississippi. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports on cleanup efforts and what those affected can do to get back on their feet.

Tonia Ray was at work when the tornado passed through Clinton, but she rushed home as soon as she could.

"I couldn't yet see mine. This was all covered with trees. I couldn't see my house at all. In the beginning I thought it was just gone, I couldn't see it at all. Of course we got a little closer and saw that my garage was gone. I could see inside my attic."

Now Ray says the house might be a total loss. This scene is being repeated in more than a dozen counties across Mississippi. David Moore is with State Farm Insurance. He says it's ok to start cleaning up...just don't make any major repairs until an agent is able to assess the situation.

"If you need to protect your home, feel free to do that...any temporary repairs. The most important thing is make a list of what you have that's damaged, and then call your insurance company and get a claim started."

Statewide about ten tornadoes damaged or destroyed nearly three hundred homes from Adams to Kemper Counties leaving one person dead. Jason Price runs a tree service in McComb. He's one of hundreds making his services available to those in need.

"It's kind of like a warzone. I've worked Katrina, Gustav, Ivan. It looks like a hurricane came through."

When disaster strikes Mississippians are always willing to swing into action. Mike Womack is Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

"Find a good organization to volunteer with. Certainly you can just be a spontaneous volunteer, but you don't know where to go, you may not be trained in safety and things of that nature. Those large groups know how to interface with government and go to those areas where they're needed."

The Red Cross is one agency on the ground in the tornado stricken areas. They've opened four shelters and served nearly five thousand meals to those families in need. Daniel Cherry...MPB News.

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