Jones County residents begin picking up pieces after Monday storms

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - After reports of an unconfirmed tornado touching down in Jones County Monday night, several emergency officials gathered in Sandersville.

 "We learned that the tornado had touched down in Laurel and stayed on the ground almost approximately nine miles going into Wayne County," said Jones County Major Chief of Operations Jamie Tedford. "We got word that the tornado had touched down and we immediately started calling out extra man power to try to take and access the damages."

As the sun rose, power crews began restoring power in the area and residents got a better look at their destroyed homes.

"We just knew we were going to get blown away, it was so bad," said resident Wilma Blackledge.

Residents say they never experienced anything like this.

"We've been living here for about fifty years and we've never had nothing like this happen," said resident Willie Sumrall. 

Near the Wayne/Jones County line, Chestnut Flat Chicken Farm was completely destroyed. Owner Cory Brownlee said he believed he lost at least 25 percent of his 228,000 chickens.

Although several structures were destroyed, residents say they're happy they walked away with their lives.

"I'm just thankful I'm still alive," said resident Willie Sumrall. "You can replace a house, but you can't replace your body."

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