HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. (localmemphis.com) – Monday’s tornadoes in Mississippi were followed especially close by those in the northern portion of the Magnolia State, who dealt with their own devastation and deaths in 2015.
This upcoming Monday, December 23rd, marks thefour-year anniversary of tornadoes which killed 11 people and destroyedhundreds of home and businesses in counties such as Benton, Tippah, andMarshall.
In response, hundreds of volunteers from across the nationcame to help those rebuild and rebound.
Still, for many, the upcoming anniversary brings backmemories of both survival and sadness. That includes Mulester Johnson. Fouryears ago this Monday, Johnson lost his home and nearly lost his life.
“It sounded like a train coming and next thing we know,it just peeled the house completely off of us,” Johnson said.
That unseasonably warm night, a tornado ripped through HollySprings, MS, including Old Highway 7.
“It takes you back, especially this time of year,”Johnson said.
He rebuilt his home and stayed. Some of his neighbors didnot.
“It took that house over there completely out. One infront of me, it took it out. This one it took it out,” Johnson said.
After Mother Nature made its mark four years ago, volunteersfrom around the country came to Holly Springs and across north Mississippi toclear debris, repair roofs, and provide hope to rattled Magnolia Statecommunities.
“You had some people that came out that did some work,that wouldn’t charge you nothing. Try to pay them, they wouldn’t take anymoney,” Johnson said.
Next week’s anniversary will again be a somber one forJohnson and others. Just down the road from his property, a cross honors one of11 lives lost December 23rd, 2015: 7-year-old Nicholas Pumroy.
“The only thing that sets me back is, when I see this littlemonument right up here,” Johnson said.
The 2015 tornadoes in north Mississippi also injured morethan 40 people.