Tornado cleanup and recovery continues in Rolling Fork, Miss.

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 11:01 PM CDT
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ROLLING FORK, Miss. (WMC) - Garrett Myles said it felt like it took three seconds for the Rolling Fork tornado to take down nearly everything standing in his hometown on the Mississippi Delta.

“The shower walls were the only thing standing around me,” Myles told Action News 5.

Myles said it took him nearly half an hour to dig through the rubble that 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,” said Myles. “That’s when we realized the couple next door to me didn’t make it.”

According to Myles, Malissa and Lonnie Pierce were killed when an 18-wheeler landed on their home on Seventh Street.

“Materials can all be replaced, but lives can’t,” Myles said.

21 people were killed across the Magnolia State during Friday’s tornado outbreak; 13 of those deaths were in Rolling Fork.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said he commends President Biden’s swift response approving disaster relief funds to help the devastated state.

The federal funding includes grants for temporary housing, home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.

Gov. Reeves, along with Rolling Fork Mayor Eldridge Walker, are confident the community will build back “better than ever.”

But Myles isn’t as convinced.

He told Action News 5 he’s unsure if he’ll will use relief money to rebuild in Rolling Fork, and he imagines many others in the town of less than 1,900 residents feel the same as he does.

“Look around a little bit,” Myles gestured. “It’s going to take years to rebuild right here.”

Mississippi Executive Officer for the American Red Cross John Brown said the organization is going to be stationed in Rolling Fork for the foreseeable future, for those who stay and the ones who decide to start elsewhere.

But for Brown, who was born and raised on the Mississippi Delta, he said it’s heartbreaking either way.

“As a Delta boy myself, from just north of here, it’s devastating,” Brown said with tears in his eyes. “It’s devastating. Just devastating.”

Like Olive Branch, the City of Horn Lake is now accepting donations for Mississippi tornado victims.

" Just think, if you got up in the morning and everything you had worked for was gone,” said Horn Lake Mayor Allen Latimer. “You have no home, you have no job, you’ve lost friends, family members, it’s just incomprehensible to imagine what those people are going through, and they need so much. But, the citizens of Horn Lake are very very generous and compassionate people.”

You can drop off items at any of the three Horn Lake Fire Department locations until Wednesday morning.

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