Covington County residentsstarted the recovery process after being hit by an EF-2 tornado in the earlyhours of Monday morning. Members of the community spent their day sortingthrough damaged items salvaging what they could, while others were moving out ofunlivable structures.
Some residents expressedtheir concern saying the rebuilding process will not be an easy one.
“Slowly working, we'reworking and all coming together as one community trying to help each other outas much as we can,” said Atiya Barnes.
Residents who live in apartmentsat the New Hopewell Heights community worked throughout the day to pack trucksand trailers with recovered items, as others worked to move out.
“They were beautifulapartments, beautiful you know, green everywhere and now it just looks like youknow, hell froze over, over here so it's pretty, it's bad, a horrible before andafter picture,” said Adrianna Jessie.
Just over a debris coveredhillside, the New Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church took a direct hit from thestorm. Members of the congregation said it is not the first time the church hasbeen struck by a tornado, but never to the extent of this. Volunteers fromsurrounding areas spent the day in and around the church clearing debris andcovering the damaged roof with tarps to prevent further damage.
“This is where I grew upat, this is my hometown. I live in Jackson now, so when I heard that thetornado had come through and hit the church, I just felt obligated to come backand do what I can to give back, said Jeremiah Barnes.
Sections of tin roofingtorn away from the church and nearby buildings littered numerous roadwaysaround the area. Volunteers spent most of the day pulling the mangled piecesfrom broken trees.
“We started this morningaround eight thirty, following along the roadside, where we find tin,” saidThomas Edison. “I know people around the community that don't have a place togo right now, they sad, which I feel sad for them, but in the mean time, I feelmuch blessing and much better that nobody in this area got hurt,” said Edison.