DeSoto County neighbors supporting each other as lengthy storm recovery begins

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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WREG) — Following Saturday’s EF-2 tornado in DeSoto County, homes are left flattened, trees and power lines are downed, and families have lost it all.

Teams with the National Weather Service were on the ground doing more reports, as some people in the Lewisburg area are facing the daunting task of starting over.

But they’re still seeing some hope.

“Until you see it, you’re not going to understand what people are going through,” storm victim Alex Allen said. “It’s a miracle no one was hurt or injured or even killed. Reality is starting to set in that we actually survived this.”

It’s all still hard to process for Alex and Hannah Allen. They hid in a closet to shield their four young kids from the storm.

“My body still hurts from the shock — the adrenaline rush, I guess,” Hannah Allen said. “Just trembling because you don’t know what’s going on around you. You’re in a closet and can’t see.”

Preliminary reports from the NWS show an EF-2 tornado ripped through this part of DeSoto County early Saturday morning.

The NWS reported winds of 120 miles per hour ripped roofs off homes and destroyed others.

“The windows started busting, everything went crazy for a little bit, and as soon as it passed, we got out of the house,” storm victim Brandon Walker said.

Others acted quickly to save neighbors who had trees topple into their homes and trap them inside.

It’s that kind of neighborly love that’s brought in groups like the Baptist Response team to help people begin the recovery process.

“Tarping houses, we have teams running chainsaws trying to get things ready for this rain coming in to get trees, limbs everything cleaned up to try to get back to get some normalcy back to the people,” said John Hampton, who’s on the Mississippi Baptist Disaster Response team.

The help means families won’t have to do everything alone.

“I say to them just take a deep breath, try not to take it all in at the same time,” American Red Cross Mid-South member John Brown said. “Go step by step with family to see what the next steps are.”

While in the Lewisburg area, WREG witnessed the strength of DeSoto County as people were driving through with food, drinks and a reassuring smile.

The Red Cross said it’s working with emergency management to begin individual case help, as there’s a long recovery and rebuild ahead.

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