Covington County residents begin tornado recovery - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Covington County residents begin tornado recovery


Covington County residents started the recovery process after being hit by an EF-2 tornado in the early hours of Monday morning. Members of the community spent their day sorting through damaged items salvaging what they could, while others were moving out of unlivable structures.

Some residents expressed their concern saying the rebuilding process will not be an easy one.

“Slowly working, we're working and all coming together as one community trying to help each other out as much as we can,” said Atiya Barnes.

Residents who live in apartments at the New Hopewell Heights community worked throughout the day to pack trucks and trailers with recovered items, as others worked to move out.

“They were beautiful apartments, beautiful you know, green everywhere and now it just looks like you know, hell froze over, over here so it's pretty, it's bad, a horrible before and after picture,” said Adrianna Jessie.  

Just over a debris covered hillside, the New Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church took a direct hit from the storm. Members of the congregation said it is not the first time the church has been struck by a tornado, but never to the extent of this. Volunteers from surrounding areas spent the day in and around the church clearing debris and covering the damaged roof with tarps to prevent further damage.

“This is where I grew up at, this is my hometown. I live in Jackson now, so when I heard that the tornado had come through and hit the church, I just felt obligated to come back and do what I can to give back, said Jeremiah Barnes.

Sections of tin roofing torn away from the church and nearby buildings littered numerous roadways around the area. Volunteers spent most of the day pulling the mangled pieces from broken trees.

“We started this morning around eight thirty, following along the roadside, where we find tin,” said Thomas Edison. “I know people around the community that don't have a place to go right now, they sad, which I feel sad for them, but in the mean time, I feel much blessing and much better that nobody in this area got hurt,” said Edison.

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