Neighbors helping neighbors - - Jackson, MS

Neighbors helping neighbors

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By Walt Grayson - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Mississippi continues to clean up after Saturday's tornado outbreak. In many cases, neighbors helping neighbors made all the difference.

In Holmes County, it was the neighbors with chain saws who opened up the back roads and checked on other neighbors.

Some were all right, some were not. Some wouldn't have been all right without help.

"They were laying in the floor of the house and there were 4 of them. And they said it just stayed over their house" said one neighbor. "Next thing they know it just removed the house and left them on the floor where they were laying. They're OK, but some of them got knots on their head, bleeding."

The storm that spawned the tornado outbreak that left a trail of damage from one side of Mississippi to the other first touched down on the banks of Willow Bayou, to the west Tallulah, Louisiana.

Dozens of homes were destroyed along Willow Bayou Road, some reduced to the slab.

Tank cars were blown off the tracks at a chemical plant on the Mississippi River. The plant was severely damaged. One person trapped inside was removed safely.

Then the tornado crossed the river into Mississippi, damaging or destroying homes at Eagle Lake, north of Vicksburg.

After causing extensive damage and deaths in Yazoo County, the storm blew over transport trucks when it crossed I-55 near Durant, stopping traffic in the northbound lane for hours.

East of Durant, the storm broke tree limbs and downed power lines as it crossed the Big Black River.

One of the places hardest hit in east Mississippi was a rural community between Weir and French Camp.

 There were several deaths in this area of Choctaw County also. Mobil homes were completely demolished. Trees snapped, power lines downed and vehicles looked like they had been wadded up like waste paper and tossed away.

The National Weather Service says it will take several days to completely investigate the storm and determine whether this was one tornado that stayed on the ground for hours, or whether the storm spawned a series of tornadoes as it hop-scotched across Mississippi.

In either case, property is gone, lives have been lost and it will take a long time to clean up in the wake of the deadly April storm of 2010.

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