Pine Belt marks first anniversary of deadly tornadoes

Pine Belt marks first anniversary of deadly tornadoes

PINE BELT - South Mississippi is marking the first anniversary of a deadly and destructive series of tornadoes that killed five people.

Three people died in Columbia and two were killed in Jones County when twisters hit Dec. 23, 2014.

Dozens of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.

Volunteers from across the country helped clean-up and rebuild some of the areas hardest hit.

Some areas have recovered, while others are still rebuilding.
"We're back now, we're just not back as full a speed as we want to be," Columbia Mayor Robert Bourne said. "I hope by this time next year, you come for a report and bring it up, we'll see what two years has done for us."

"Tragedies like this or disasters make you stronger," said Marda Tullos, executive director of Jones County Emergency Management. "The community comes together, if they weren't already and help each other."

Fifty-five homes were destroyed in Columbia and 77 businesses were severely damaged.