Mississippi town of Durant struggles to build back after storm - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi town of Durant struggles to build back after storm

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
DURANT, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

We are in Holmes County, where the city of Durant is struggling to rebuild the town six months after fierce storms rolled through the city leaving a path of devastation and destruction. 

"That's all I have guaranteed to me is time," said business owner and storm victim Mattie Coleman. 

Coleman's business set up shop in Durant more than 20 years ago. She didn't have insurance when the storm hit back April and it's been rough ever since it happened. 

PREVIOUS STORY: Clean up begins in storm-ravaged Durant

PREVIOUS STORY: Durant residents struggling to clean up after destructive storm

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The storm victim says every so often volunteers will come to help her clean up, and she has also been collecting donations to get her business up and running again.

"Because I am a giver and I don't have the means of giving, that is what breaks my heart," said Coleman.

Mayor Henry Robinson says only 10 percent of the town has built back. One major problem is no funding to help the people who live and work here. 

FEMA awarded the city $1.4 million to clean up the mounds of debris left behind from the storm, but folks here were denied individual assistance, money they needed to rebuild or find a new place to stay. 

"They still have blue tarps on a lot of houses and a lot of houses in the city are unlivable," said Mayor Robinson.

"No one gave us any kind of help. It was difficult. The Church of Christ came through for us," said a storm victim. 

Still, there are some positive changes.

The storm caused wind and water damage at Johnny Bankhead's house. Six months later he is back home.

"It is very important to show individuals that we are going to bounce back no matter what happens," said Bankhead. 

Citizens and city officials are hoping more volunteers will lend a helping hand and money will flow in As Durant continues on the road to recovery. 

"Pray for us maybe we can move forward and get past this," added Mayor Robinson. 

If you would like to help Durant rebuild, you are asked to call city hall at (662)653-3314. 

The city of Durant and Project Rebuild are hosting "OKTOBERFEST" with food, games, and family fun. 

It will be held Saturday on Front Street in Durant from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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