Builders try to beat next round of weather in Yazoo County - - Jackson, MS

Builders try to beat next round of weather in Yazoo County

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By Monica Hernandez - bio | email | twitter

YAZOO COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Hammers and chainsaws are signs of progress Wednesday in tornado-torn Yazoo County, especially in hard hit areas like Old Benton Road.  

"Now that the road's opened up, we got electricity going, we're starting to rebuild," said Paul Parker of Yazoo County based Parker's Builders.

Parker is rebuilding nearly a dozen homes hit by Saturday's EF-4 tornado.

Parker started working on Phil William's home on Old Benton Road just an hour after the storm knocked a tree through William's roof.

His 15-year-old daughter was alone inside at the time.  She survived with no injuries.

Williams said it wasn't the first time the home had seen destruction.

"This house has actually burned twice.  We call it Phoenix, risen from the flame.  It's been rebuilt twice.  Looks like we're going back for a third time," laughed Williams, in good spirits.

Neighbors told WLBT one home on Old Benton Road was still in the process of being built before the tornado ripped through it.

Meanwhile, Parker said he's overwhelmed with work and concerned about the next round of storms expected to come through this weekend.

"It's overwhelming. I can only imagine what the folks that dealt with Katrina because this is the Delta's version of Katrina," said Parker.

Just down the road, Carolyn Veazey waited on her insurance adjuster as she looked over the damage on the street where she's lived for nearly 10 years.

"It looks good now compared to what it was, but it's still a mess," she said.

But with help from friends, neighbors and complete strangers, tightly-knit Yazoo County is holding on and picking up the pieces even in an area that continues to look like a war zone.

"The whole story's about neighbors taking care of neighbors," said Veazey.

The Salvation Army distributed 200 blue tarps and hundreds of meals to individual homes in Yazoo and Holmes Counties Wednesday.  They said they planned to end meal service Thursday, but they expect to begin providing some financial services Monday.

At the intersection of Highway 16 and Highway 49, a "Volunteer City" is set up in front of the former Yazoo Motor Company building.  It's serving as a resource center for tornado survivors, where they can pick up food, ice and water.  Wednesday, the makeshift center also offered free chainsaw sharpening and equipment maintenance for clean-up.

Meanwhile, FEMA officials said they will stay on scene as long as they are needed.  They were waiting for word on whether a federal disaster would be declared for the area.

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