Families pick up the pieces following Tuesday’s storm

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 8:22 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Tuesday’s storm packed a punch as it ripped through Meridian. Trees were no match for winds that exceeded 70 mph.

“I saw life or death. Run or stay, fight or give up. I’m still shocked,” Veronica Chaney said.

Veronica Chaney was in her upstairs apartment on 48th Ave. when a large oak crashed through her home. She said she’s thankful she’s alive.

“While I’m in the shower the whole house was crumbling down on me. I literally had to run out of the house with just a towel. I was on the porch hollering and screaming,” Chaney explained.

Nicole Hampton and her daughter Journee live just below Chaney. They weren’t at home during the storm.

“We are displaced and are going to lose a lot of items, which is fine. We have our lives and I just don’t know what to feel right now,” Nicole Hampton said.

Six-year-old Journee Hampton said she didn’t like the storm and would like for things to get better.

“I think it’s bad because my momma was crying,” Journee said.

Both families lost just about everything. Hampton said her journey through the last few months has already been tough enough.

“Not too long ago we dealt with a burglary where they took everything from us,” Hampton explained. “Now, we are losing everything all over again. It’s like trauma on top of trauma. I was saying, ‘Lord, I’m losing again.’ I just lost with the burglary and now I just lost with this.”

Ward 3 Councilwoman Fannie Johnson was working to help people in her area all day Wednesday. Hampton said she’s thankful for the city’s swift response and grateful for the first responders.

So far, more than 60 homes have been added to the damage list. That’s more than February’s ice storm.

“We will continue to add to that list. We are also working on special cases like we have here,” Public Safety Director Dough Stephens said. “If you have a neighbor that might have needs and they don’t have a means or need assistance, then call 601-484-6890. Tell us you have property damage and we will help in any way that we can.”

Right now, the focus is on families like Chaney and Hampton’s. Hampton’s daughter is in kindergarten and likes clothes and said she loves her rainbow scrunchie. She wanted to pass along this message:

“I want everybody to be grateful. I want them to be loving and caring,” Journee said.

If you would like to help Veronica Chaney or Nicole Hampton, then you can call their number’s listed below.

Nicole Hampton: 601-595-3443

Veronica Chaney: 601-678-8128

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