Laurel’s historic district damaged by tornado


LAUREL, Miss. (WHLT) – The historic district of Laurel was hit by a tornado Monday night.

The city was in clean up mode on Tuesday. Many neighbors said this is the worst storm damage that they have seen in years.

“You know, most of the time whenever we have bad weather, it kind of goes north of Laurel, out in the western part of the county or south,” explained Stacey Pickering, head of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board. “But having it actually hit here in town like this, it’s really the first time I can remember since Katrina I’ve seen anything of this magnitude.”

With the storms gone, neighbors are now cleaning up the city.

“I arrived right about sun-up this morning, and it’s been just a recovery stage for all of the neighbors here in the community of Laurel and the surrounding area of the Pine Belt all day long,” said Pickering. “Cleaning debris, getting trees off of houses, and recovering fence. So, neighbors helping neighbors and that’s what you do in this situation.”

While much of the area sustained damage, there were some who’s businesses or homes escaped unscathed, which has them feeling blessed.

“Where Piggly Wiggly got hit, it jumped over my building back behind it. No damage at all. But it hit other buildings,” said Mike Herrington.

The Laurel Mercantile Co. is working to raise funds to help storm victims in the city.

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