Tornado cleanup begins in Lauderdale County

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Cleanup begins in northern parts of Lauderdale County after an EF-2 tornado came through the area Saturday night.

The tornado caused damage on several roads including, Lockhart Trailer Court Road, Chip Pickering Road, Campground Road, Beaver Pond Road, Campground Road and Green Loop Road.

“Trees started to break and snap. It was loud. When the tree limbs broke it shook the ground, you could feel the ground vibrate,” Gabriel Evans says after experiencing the tornado.

What Gabriel Evans heard was an EF-2 tornado ripping through his community. Two days later, people are trying to salvage what they can. Homeowners in the area walking through the badly damaged neighborhood in hopes of finding some of their belongings. Emergency officials are in the area taking the next step.

“We’re trying to pick up the debris from the sides of the roads and finish getting the roadways cleared to get the area back safe again. Safe for travel and safe for the residents,” Lauderdale County Emergency Management Director Scott Spears says.

Spears says more than 20 homes suffered damage in the storm. He says five were destroyed. County officials say only one person was injured and after receiving stitches released from the hospital. The county’s District One Supervisor Jonathan Wells says it’s a miracle no one was killed.

“We are thankful nobody got seriously hurt, but at the same time, I could imagine these people have a sense of hopelessness right now and that’s why we’re here. We want them to know that we’re going to do all that we can to help them out,” Lauderdale County District One Supervisor Jonathan Wells says.

This area has been declared an emergency by the county, but officials have sent a proclamation to the governor’s office for more assistance. No shelters had to be opened after the storm. Spears says people are helping one another.

“Family has been taking care of family. That’s the great thing about our small communities, everybody sticks together and takes care of one another,” Spears says.

Spears says Congressman Gregg Harper, United Way and the Red Cross have all reached out to this area to provide assistance.

“It’s going to take a while, but it’s getting there. It’s the process of being safe and working as fast as we can at the same time,” Wells says.