Decatur, Miss. As you drive down Highway 503 near Country Club Road in Decatur, you begin to see a scene of trees snapped like toothpicks and some homes damaged beyond repair. Just days after an EF-2 Tornado struck homes near the Decatur Country Club, the community was already out in full force assessing damages and helping neighbors. One homeowner who experienced the tornado first hand, gave his assessment of what it was like as the tornado passed over.
"The way I describe it is the house took a breath. It kind of swelled everything up and then went away," said Homeowner William Michael Skinner. "The wall we were huddled against in the interior of the house we felt it move like it was breathing. All of this was in the blink of an eye."
Members of the Skinner family escaped unscathed, but their home suffered major damage. Just a few feet shy of where they were sitting in their hallway, the tornado ripped the roof off of their house as if it were nothing. Pieces of wood were flying through the air from houses all over piercing anything in it's path. Newton County EMA Director Steve Baggett, says the support of the community has been amazing.
"I can say this for Newton County as a whole and other people around us have come in and making for a very strong community and pulling together," said Baggett. Neighbors that were not affected coming over to other neighbors and making sure they were okay, bringing their equipment, tractors, etcetera to clean up debris and get them back on their feet."
For the McMillians, Decatur has long been home and the hope is to pick up the pieces and rebuild.