Stories of Hope, Survival from Louisville

Louisville, Miss. Three days after the storm Newscenter 11 caught up with the daughter of one of the ten people who were killed when Monday's E-F 4 tornado hit Winston County.

Carnesha Bennett's mother, 53-year-old Ruth Bennett opened Ruth's Childcare Center in Louisville seven years ago. Just before the tornado hit, Carnesha says her mom was on the phone with a cousin. At the time one of her students was still at the center.

"She didn't have time to get to the storm cellar that we actually have. She told my cousin that if the Lord was going to take them, take them both, but if not to spare the child's life and take hers."

Carnesha's mom is said to have been found near a fence, wrapped in a blanket, covering the four-year-old girl. Family and friends describe Mrs. Bennett as a woman who always put others, especially her students, before herself.

"When the firefighters came they pulled her from mama's arm because my mama was still holding on to her," says Carnesha.

The four-year-old girl survived. According to Carnesha, the child has undergone medical treatment, and remembers what happened.

Several miles away from that site, Mississippi Senator Giles Ward, who represents District 18, and four of his family members survived the storm when his house, and all of the 20 plus other homes in his subdivision, were heavily damaged or destroyed.

"We all just piled on top of each other, and of course, started praying as hard and as heavily as we had ever done," says Ward. "I told someone the other day that we had revival for about 45 seconds."

From right off Armstrong Street where an apartment complex was destroyed, to the site where the church that Philadelphia Mayor James Young serves as pastor once stood, the damage in Louisville is devastating and widespread.

"The situation is hard," says Carnesha Bennett, "but at the end of the day I know that if my mother had to do the situation all over again, she would save the little girl's life again. It wouldn't even cross her mind."