Everything changed overnight for Columbus native Greg Mixon, when the Feb. 23, 2019, tornado hit his house on Seventh Avenue North.
“One day you have a house, and the next day you don’t,” he said.
Strong storms pounded the Deep South on Sunday, killing at least six people in south Mississippi and damaging up to 300 homes and other buildings in northern Louisiana. Storms continued to batter the South overnight, with much of the region under flash flood, tornado and thunderstorm warnings and watches.
Tornadoes ripped across Tennessee early Tuesday, shredding at least 40 buildings and killing at least 19 people. One of the twisters caused severe damage across downtown Nashville, destroying the stained glass in a historic church and leaving hundreds of people homeless.
When a storm passed through Crawford in the 1990s, Lucy Henley had nowhere else to hide.
Staying in her mobile home on Tolan Street with seven children at the time, she said, she could feel the bottom of her home lifted off the ground by the gusty winds.
Cindy Lawrence said the night of Feb. 23, 2019, is one she will never forget.
Lowndes County was under a tornado watch that Saturday afternoon, and as director of the county’s Emergency Management Agency, Lawrence was at her downtown office at about 5:15 when the EF-3 tornado first touched down.
It was cold Friday afternoon, but Willie Peterson was glad to be back to work all the same.
Climbing to the top few steps of a ladder leaned against the side of a house on Shady Street, he surveyed how well the roof work had held up to recent days of significant rainfall that finally ceased late Thursday afternoon. Then coming down from the ladder, Peterson began preparing for his next tasks.
It’s been almost a year since Greg Mixon got to go home to his house on Seventh Avenue North.
The house, which had been in his family for decades and belonged to his mother before him, was destroyed beyond repair in the February 2019 tornado that roared through central and northeast Columbus.
Determined to rebuild in Northside: Homeowners apply with available aid programs to replace homes destroyed by February storm
It’s been seven months since an EF-3 tornado swept through the north side of Columbus damaging or destroying an estimated 300 homes and businesses. Mississippi Emergency Management Agency inspectors ruled 117 of those homes were in an “unlivable” state.
For every new roof that dots the landscape, there are a half-dozen more homes that remain, battered and abandoned.
Five months after initially ruling there would be no federal funds provided to private property owners in Lowndes County whose homes or businesses were damaged by the Feb. 23 tornado and flooding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that those funds will be available after all.
Deundrae Cockrell stepped onto the front porch of his parents’ home on Shady Street, shaking his head sadly as he looked at what was left of the brick pathway and low brick wall that fronts the home.