Survivors pick up the pieces in tornado-ravaged Yazoo County - - Jackson, MS

Survivors pick up the pieces in tornado-ravaged Yazoo County

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By Monica Hernandez - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -  "Lost my home, lost everything. We have nothing, nothing at all," said Ashley Saxton, of Yazoo County.

She and her husband were inside their car, rushing to find shelter, when an EF-4 tornado hit Yazoo City Saturday.

"When I got to the red light, that's when the wind was just so strong, it blew out my window and the wind picked us up and spun us around and threw us into the restaurant," said Saxton.

That restaurant is Ribeye's Steakhouse, where Saxton works for her father-in-law. It, like her home, is a total loss.

"I have about 10 or 12 families, kids... it's the only source of income they got," said Ribeye's owner Mitchell Saxton.

Mitchell Saxton said Ribeye's, like so many other businesses in Yazoo City, could take 6-8 months to rebuild.

"I'm hoping people will just be patient and they will we got a lot of good people in this county and city and they'll support us, we're going through hard time, but they'll be back, I truly believe it," said Mitchell Saxton.

And so, the people of the tornado-ravaged county continue to pick up the pieces, with help from agencies like the Salvation Army. It's served over 1200 meals in affected areas since the storm hit.

"They're primarily still in shock. The Salvation Army provides emotional and spiritual support for those people, and right now we're still trying to walk through with survivors, through the shock process," said Cindy Cheeks, public relations officer for the Salvation Army.

On Monday, roads in the city's hardest hit areas were still blocked and officials were out directing traffic.

State troopers blocked part of Old Highway 16 off of Highway 49. They said a main power line was still down in that area.

Entergy spokeswoman Mara Hartman said fewer than 600 customers are without power statewide because of the storm. 460 of those are in Yazoo County.

Hartman estimated it could be Wednesday before power is restored to Yazoo County customers. She said roughly 100 power poles are broken, and it's a time-consuming effort to replace them.

MEMA estimated that over 300 buildings in Yazoo County were damaged or destroyed.

Meanwhile, Ashley Saxton, with no home insurance and three small children, is also mourning the loss of her aunt. Stella Martin of Yazoo County was one of 10 people, statewide, who lost their lives in the storm.

"All we can say is just pray. God was with us and we're thankful we're here," said Ashley Saxton.

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