Mississippi first lady tours Pine Belt storm damage

Mississippi first lady tours Pine Belt storm damage

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi's First Lady Deborah Bryant toured the Pine Belt's tornado damage Monday.

"It's such a devastating experience," Bryant said. "I was in Louisville when Louisville was hit by their tornado, actually there in the shelter with the other folks, so I know what it feels like to go through one and know what the devastation is afterward. So my whole reason for being here (Monday) is support, just like all the other volunteers. This is what we do. When things get tough, everybody pitches in."

Deborah Bryant visited victims in a storm shelter in Hattiesburg and volunteered with Samaritan's Purse to help clean a property in Petal. She said seeing the damage never gets easier.

"Oh it breaks your heart. I mean, some of these folks didn't have a whole lot in the first place, and then they've lost everything that they had. It doesn't how much or how little you have, it's devastating," she said. "There's loss of life. I just talked with a man that lost three homes, I think, with his family, and then he knew all four of the people that were killed. That's just, it's very emotional for these people. I saw that in Louisville. I've seen it in other tornadoes, the emotional strain on these families. We need to keep them in our prayers. I think that's the main thing, and that's what I tell them. I said, 'Just pray. God will take care of you,' and I believe that with all my heart. And I give them a big hug."

Deborah Bryant encouraged everyone to give what they can to those who lost everything, whether it is a monetary donation or things games for children currently living in shelters.

"Keep these families in your prayers," Deborah Bryant said. "Any support that you can give would be awesome. There's nothing too small. No donation too small or too large."