After tornadoes rip through DeSoto County, neighbors help those who are working to put their lives back together again

Local In MS

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. ( – It’s a long road ahead for people in DeSoto County impacted by the two tornadoes that ripped through the community. Through this tough time, the community has only grown stronger together.

Many neighbors in Olive Branch and Lewisburg, like Valerie Oxner, can’t offer heavy machinery, tree removal, or help like that. However, they have been able to serve meals and bring snacks to fellow neighbors and crews helping to clean up.

“We’ve been going door to door or street to street to street with the supplies in the back of the vehicle just offering to whoever needs,” Oxner said. “Who needs water, who needs Gatorade, who needs chips, batteries, paper plates, napkins.”

Oxner said neighbors hearts are full by the kind gestures everyone has been doing for one another.

“People would turn it away because they are so humble and they want other people to have it or the less fortunate,” Oxner said.

Olive Branch is home for Oxner, so it’s been emotional to see the destruction. Her parents’ yard and house were affected by the storm, so she understands the clean up process is difficult.

“This is a place I grew up and played around in the trees, rode the 4-wheelers and the motorcycles,” Oxner said. “So, when you drive up and see it’s been hit by devastation, of course you’re heartbroken.”

While home will never look the same, the way the community has come together is a reminder of what home is.

“Physical things can be replaced. The heartfelt actions that people take to help others it goes beyond measure,” Oxner said.

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