Hattiesburg, MS – Victims of Mississippi tornadoes have been struggling to get back on their feet until church volunteer relief stepped in.
Mississippi Baptists have sent relief to victims of the February 10 tornado that damaged or destroyed 300 homes and businesses and injured 85 residents. Reliefs came in the form of nine chainsaw, blue tarp, and feeding units.
Continual rain and a flash flood warning are hampering debris removal, but church volunteer relief workers are determined to make headway. Debris is being stacked rather than hauled away until the weather permits removal.
Jim Didlake, DR director for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB), said:
“Where the tornado was on the ground, it’s very serious. It’s been rated an EF-4 tornado, so a lot of the houses were just devastated.”
Three tornadoes struck Lamar, Forrest, Marion, and Lawrence counties late in the day on February 10. The National Weather Service says one of them was graded EF-4 with winds as high as 170 mph. The second was an EF-2 with winds as high as 115 mph, and the third was an EF-1.
According to Baptist News, Jim Didlak states:
“People, many of them are still in shock, because it hit, came through so quick and was so devastating. The need that will be in the immediate future is going to be financial help for these folks. We try to reach out and help them as much as we can that way.”
Mississippi churches have responded in haste, says Didlake:
“Our churches have responded tremendously in what they’re doing, in having volunteers in the field and trying to reach out to the people in the community and helping them.”
Checks in support of DR efforts should be made payable to MBCB, with “Miss. Disaster Relief” noted on the memo line, and mailed to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530. On-line donations can be made at http://mbcb.org/mission_strategy/men/dr/. The MBCB is not accepting donations of supplies, such as food, clothing and equipment, at this time.
Completed storm survey of Southern Mississippi Tornadoes. 3 total, EF-1, EF-2, EF-4. Summary & track map here: srh.noaa.gov/jan/?n=2013_02…
— Rich Wirdzek (@RichWirdzek) February 13, 2013