Some Pine Belt residents affected by 2013, 2017 tornadoes

Some Pine Belt residents affected by 2013, 2017 tornadoes
Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church was heavily damaged in the Jan. 21 tornado. Photo credit WDAM.
Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church was heavily damaged in the Jan. 21 tornado. Photo credit WDAM.

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Some people struck by last month's tornado are remembering the anniversary of another twister that also hit them just four years ago.

An EF-4 tornado on Feb. 10, 2013, that damaged hundreds of homes in the Pine Belt also destroyed Petal's Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church.

It was rebuilt, but was destroyed again three weeks ago in the Jan. 21 twister.

"It's kind of like getting knocked down by a left hook and you get up and get hit again," said Carl Burkett, church pastor.

"But, we're going to take this on the chin."

Reverend Burkett said the congregation plans to rebuild a new sanctuary on the site of the damaged one.

"We thank God for whatever he has done and whatever he's going to do for us," said Burkett. "We know it's going to be good."

Carlstedt's Wholesale Florists was also destroyed in the Feb. 10, 2013, tornado.

It was located on Bouie Street in Hattiesburg.

It eventually relocated to the old Moose Lodge building on South Main Street in Petal, but was destroyed again by the Jan. 21 twister.

But, a short time later, it reopened in the old Leaf River Sports store on the Evelyn Gandy Parkway.

"(The Jan. 21 tornado) happened on a Saturday, we were in this building on Tuesday, moving everything in, selling flowers by Thursday," said Will Hibley, manager of Carlstedt's Wholesale Florists.

"We're hoping (another tornado) doesn't happen again in four years."