Volunteers chip in across DeSoto County in aftermath of two destructive tornadoes

Local In MS

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (localmemphis.com) – Strangers are helping neighbors and those living in north Mississippi communities, two days after two tornadoes barreled through DeSoto County.

According to Mississippi leaders, Saturday morning’s EF-1 and EF-2 – with winds up to 120 miles per hour damaged more than 200 homes and mobile homes, destroying 15 and causing major damage to 57 others.

Two people were also injured – but not seriously – in the storms, which primarily affected the Love community south of Hernando, MS and the Olive Branch, MS community of Lewisburg.

Volunteers spent the day offering help and providing for those in need.

A Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief team provided assistance with bulldozers and chainsaws on Bethel Road, as they rolled in Monday morning and went right to work.

“People in need,” Harry Floate said.

That’s why Floate and other volunteers said they answered the call.

“We’ve got good Christian people that take care of the people in the community,” Floate said.

The storms Saturday blew over trees, toppled sheds, and left a mess behind, which is why families receiving the volunteer help were so thankful.

“Knowing that we’ve got help, got someone to help take care of my mother-in-law, it’s means a lot,” Shanna Redwine said.

That gratitude is evident across Desoto County communities, including Lewisburg near Olive Branch. That’s where the tornado destroyed structures, turned over trailers, and flung debris into trees.

“Something about disasters just brings people close together and it’s just been fantastic,” Desoto County Emergency Management Deputy Director Josh Harper said. “We’ve been just inundated with donations.”

Monday, those at OB Pizza Company dropped off pies, an American Red Cross team provided supplies, and staff at the Hampton Inn in Hernando welcomed 40 affected families at discounted rates – including Quincy Randle’s. Randle and his son took shelter in a ditch as the storm blew over him on Robertson Gin Road Saturday morning.

“It is unbelievable,” Randle said. “It really makes a person realize what a hometown is really all about.”

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