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
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.