/This is about Christmas’ In Edwards, neighbors pull together and clean up from a devastating tornado

This is about Christmas’ In Edwards, neighbors pull together and clean up from a devastating tornado

Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today Report For America In the wake of the destruction, Gov. Phil Bryant declared a State of Emergency, sending aid to help alleviate the hardships caused by this disaster. According to media reports, there were no tornado-related deaths in Mississippi. However, four people died in Louisiana and Alabama. While Mississippians wait for their government’s next move, Edwards residents are busy rebuilding their communities. Von Mack, the owner of Von’s Tree Service and Firewood and two volunteers, used his equipment to remove nearly every inch of fallen trees and limbs from a Staple Street house. Mack and his two volunteers, Ahmadd White and Carlos Jenkins, worked as hard and as hard as workers expecting to be paid at the end. They were not looking for a paycheck. Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today Report For America Mack stated that this was not about making money. It is about everyone having a happy Christmas. “Since it [the tornado] came through here, my business was closed and I came to help this community in any way that I could because this is my house.” The trio did not wait for permission to help residents of the small town. They took on the job after seeing a yard covered with debris. It took them their whole week. Carlos Jenkins stated, “This is not for us. This is for the community.” “God gives us our blessings so that we can help others,” Carlos Jenkins said. Before energy companies can restore power to homes and businesses, trees must be removed from power lines. The trees were also removed to speed up power restoration. Entergy’s outage map at the end of the week showed that power had been restored to most of the town. Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today Report For America Zelma Davenport, who runs a home-based daycare on Ashcot Circle, is just a little over a mile from Staple Street. As she looked after her two children, she recalls the terrifying tornado experience. Davenport stated, “We were in the den when the tornado sirens rang.” “Within five minutes, the tornado sirens were sounding and we ran to the tub to save our children.” Davenport covered both of the children with sheets and pillows to keep them safe. Davenport sustained minor injuries to her leg but none of the children were hurt in the tornado. Her windows were all broken, and large trees fell in her yard. Davenport stated that the next day, the entire neighborhood rallied to board the windows and put tarp over the roofs. “I don’t know what they (the Government) will do, but right at the moment, the community is coming together and helping everyone.” Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today Report For America Coretta Frazier stopped by Ashcot Circle to unload and deliver water and other non-perishable items for residents. While she manages two businesses and is a mother, Frazier made it a priority for her neighbor to find resources. Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today. Frazier stated that she would normally be at a Christmas party at her kids’ school. But, it occurred to me that I should go out and check what was available. “Being resourceful for people who need resources is usually who and what I am,” Frazier said. Atallya Price was working when her mother called. Price stated that her mother called to inform her about the weather. Price said that she didn’t know that she would be returning home to find a tree in her trailer. Price moved in with her children only two weeks prior to the tornado destroying a tree. She then placed it in the middle of her new home. “If this had happened at night, it wouldn’t be possible for us to make it.” Price is currently waiting for estimates from contractors so that her home can rebuild. Price’s insurance will not pay for repairs, but it will cover the cost of the house. Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today Report For America According Gov. Phil Bryant The storm damage affected 27 counties. Nearly 150 homes were destroyed or damaged across the state. Some suffered severe injuries but no deaths were reported. See the photo gallery below.