Pine Belt recovery efforts for Rolling Fork

Hundreds of people in the Mississippi Delta are beginning to rebuild their lives after Friday’s tornadoes devastated their communities.
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 7:56 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Determination after devastation - the Pine Belt is all too familiar to natural disasters and the struggle to rebuild.

Jones County Sheriff Joe Berlin said a helping hand from strangers after Hurricane Katrina made a world of difference. Now, he said it’s time to return the favor.

“We had several states and cities and counties and perishes help us, and it’s always been a mission of mine at any time anybody’s been hit by a disastrous storm or anything that we try to help them back,” said Berlin. “We want to pay the people back that helped us whenever we were in a bind.”

The Jones County Sheriff’s Department is accepting donations all this week for Rolling Fork. Any donation will be accepted.

“Please, if it’s just a bottle of water or a case of water or something, these people really need help,” Berlin said. “This was a monstrous tornado that went through the area, and this killed several people.”

Forrest County is also joining in on the relief efforts.

Forrest County Board of Supervisor President David Hogan said they’re working to send volunteers and supplies.

“We’re going to be offering to Monroe and Sharkey counties equipment and manpower to help with debris removal and road clearing,” said Hogan. “Mr. Glen Moore’s in Jackson now, and we’ve talked to Derrick Surrette of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors’ executive director about how we can best serve those people.”

However, the help goes beyond just these two counties.

The Covington County Sheriff’s Office is accepting gift cards. Powers Fire and Rescue is collecting batteries, flashlights, manual can openers and cleaning supplies.

Along with those, the American Red Cross of Mississippi is also taking donations at 800-RED-CROSS or by texting TORNADO to 90999 to make a monetary donation. In fact, the non-profit is taking it a step further by offering mental health support on their phone lines.

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