JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Three members of Jones County Emergency Management and one from the Sheriff's office were in Monroe County to help the residents of Smithville pick up the pieces following the devastating tornado that wiped out most of the town.
Emergency Management Executive Director Don McKinnon, Rodney Parker, Richard Elzey, and Lance Chancellor were all assigned to the MEMA task force and got a first hand look at the damage and destruction.
Chancellor says it is the worst most devastating destruction that he has seen since Waveland during Hurricane Katrina.
"More than 125 homes were completely destroyed. Another 60 had major to extreme damage and the remaining 63 had minor damage. Also three quarters of their businesses were either heavily damaged or destroyed,"said Chancellor.
He added that it will be a long recovery for the town and their needs are great.
"They are in desperate need of non-perishable foods. Things like towels, bath cloths, can openers. They are getting a lot of donations of non-perishable foods, but a lot of these folks are staying shelters., are going to be staying in relative's homes, and sleeping in cars," added Chancellor. "They just need all the basic essentials in life, everything you and I take for granted everyday, they lost it all."
He says volunteers have been pouring into the town with tools and chainsaws in hand ready to do whatever they can to help.