Pine Belt town celebrates Easter while mourning losses from 2020 tornado


BASSFIELD, Miss. (WHLT) – Easter Sunday is a time for communion, and Bassfield neighbors did just that as a remembrance for lives lost in the Easter tornado on April 12, 2020. The two EF-4 and one EF-3 tornadoes barreled through Jefferson Davis County on that day.

“A little before 4:00 p.m., we went under what they call a tornado emergency. That’s not a good thing in emergency management,” County Emergency Management Director Jocely Ragsdale said. “That’s not something we want to hear that’s not something we want to live through, and I knew from that, that if that tornado actually hit the ground and tracked through Jefferson Davis County, it would be tragic. It would be total devastation and that’s exactly what we had.”

A terrible disaster struck the town of Bassfield in the afternoon. A two-mile-wide tornado ravaged the town, destroying everything in its path. By the end of the day, four people were killed.

Nearly a year later, people came together to remember and mourn.

“He made it to the hospital, and we thought he was going to be ok, and the doctor stayed back there for a while before coming back to say he was gone, and I still don’t believe it sometimes. The hurt is so deep more than I can explain to anybody because my son was 46 years old. He was healthy,” Yvon Mingo said about her son was killed during the storm.

Recovery is coming along. Some families have rebuilt. Some are in the process of rebuilding, and some are still trying to find their way.

“Of course, the storm and the virus and all of it just kind of have accumulated together, and you couldn’t get anything,” Nollie Hathorn stated. “I mean, you know you can get a contractor who says, ‘I can be there next week, if I can get what I need.’ Well, he may show up three weeks later.”

For some, the storm is as vivid today as it was then. As Bassfield cleans up and rebuilds, for those who lost loved ones, it may never be the same.

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