Meridian residents healing after tornado rips through city

Residents healing after tornado strikes city of Meridan; (Photo Source: WDAM)
Residents healing after tornado strikes city of Meridan; (Photo Source: WDAM)
Updated: Apr. 15, 2018 at 8:39 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, MS (WDAM) - People across the state are healing after a line of storms swept through southern region over the weekend. The National Weather Service says that an EF-2 tornado ripped through the city of Meridan on Saturday, April 14.

One resident says she witnessed some of the damage the stormed had brought that day.

"I looked across the street and trees were just flying through people's houses, and it just scared me near about to death," Beatrice Hayes said.

Residents in the historic East End district of the city are working tirelessly to rebuild their community after the tornado ripped through several homes with estimated maximum winds of 115 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

"It came this way," Christian Bell said. "From the video that we saw on the internet or what not. It came this way and just blew through just like that. It blew the roof on this house, and you know it tore up Grandview and snapped a lot of trees."

"My mama had 23 trees in her yard, and almost half of them, as you can see, are gone," Ashley Young said. "This whole block was just full of trees."

Another resident, who has been living in the city for years, said he'd never experienced anything like this.

"I've never experience anything like this at this magnitude, and I've been in this area for many years," Cedric Ruffin said.

Several people were without power throughout the night forcing many to stay in hotels. Robert Combs says he drove around for hours looking for a hotel for him and his four children because he says many were already filled.

"We had to spend almost three to four hundred dollars just to get one," Ruffin said.

Greg Williams, Pastor of New Vision House of God, says he spoke with many residents that say they were in the eye of the storm and lost a lot.

"They've lost a lot, but the people have great spirits," Williams said. "We talked to many people that said they was in the eye of the storm and they saw so many disasters. One young lady just left, her car was turned around in the storm and thrown into a building. Her and her two sons both survived."

According to Mississippi Power Meridian Division Manager Eddie Kelly, their team worked throughout the night to get the lights back on their customers. Kelly says they've now restored electricity to all customers who are currently able to receive power.

Many residents say they feel this was the worst storm to hit Meridian since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. However, they also say they won't let this tragedy be their downfall.

God was just with us," Beatrice Hayes said. "We were lucky."

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