LEAKESVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Clean-up of the damage from the tornado that rolled through Leakesville Friday night began in earnest Saturday morning. Representatives from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency teamed with local officials to begin assessing the damage.
An unidentified 54 year old Leakesville woman was killed by the tornado and six others suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Twenty homes were destroyed, 27 others had major damage, ad 47 more received minor damage. Nine local businesses had varying degrees of damage to them.
"We're just making sure what can be saved cab be saved at this point,"said Trent Richardson, Director, Green County Emergency Management. "We don't have anybody missing. We don't look for the injury or death number to go up. We do expect the number of homes damaged to go up in the next day or two."
Power lines and more than 40 poles were blown down by the storm leaving about 840 customers without power. Crews began work Friday night and expect to work around the clock through the weekend to restore power.
The American Red Cross set up a shelter Friday evening at the town's community center and took in more than 35 displaced people. They also had aid stations set up throughout the town. Their assessment teams were out checking the extent of the damage. They say they will stay in Leakesville as long as it takes to help the residents recover from the tragedy.
"We have emotional care teams who are also on the way to help," said Paige Roberts, State Public affairs Director for the Red Cross. "The bricks and mortar of your home is one type of loss. The bricks and mortar of the spirit is something completely different."
Late Friday night, video of the Leakesville tornado was released on youtube. It was captured by storm chaser Reed Timmer and his team. You can view that video here.
The governors wife Marsha Barbour arrived in Leakesville at about 1:30 p.m. to assess the damage, and the Governors office has now declared a local state of emergency for the area.
Robertson said it will probably be some time before life gets back to normal in Leakesville.
"It's going to take weeks, months and possibly years to completely overcome this," said Robertson. "But Leakesville is a really tight knit community. Greene County is really close and we'll get through it.