State leaders tour tornado damage in Warren County

State leaders tour tornado damage in Warren County

WARREN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves and other state and local leaders were in Warren County Tuesday, touring the damage and destruction left behind by three EF-2 tornadoes over the weekend.

The tour is part of a plan to help the people affected get the federal dollars needed to help recover and rebuild.

“Everything we invested in is now gone,” said storm victim Donnie Larry.

Larry fought back tears as he talked about the day the severe weather swept across Warren County and destroyed his home in Vicksburg.

“The storm sounded like a big big bomb had exploded in the house and that’s all I saw was the roof fly up,” he said.

Larry, his grandchildren and his pregnant daughter were inside the home when the twister hit. He says some flying debris even hit the expectant mother in the stomach. She is now in the hospital, and on top of that, the family is now homeless.

“Lord what am I gone to do now? I cried, I had to let it go because I couldn’t hold in, “ said Larry.

Tuesday, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, Mayor George Flaggs and a group of emergency officials got a first hand look at the extensive damage the home sustained.

“We are at the state level and are going to provide as much help as possible because this is a difficult situation,” said Lt. Gov. Reeves.

The state and local leaders also traveled to some of the other hardest hit areas in the county, walking through glass and debris to survey the damage and listen to storm victims stories of survival and need for help.

“It is a lot easier to tell our story to the federal government when we actually know what the story is," said Mayor George Flaggs. "The best way to tell the story is to be here and hear from the residents of this community that went through this horrific event on Saturday.

According to Mayor Flaggs, 150 homes were damaged and/or destroyed, as well as more than a dozen businesses across the county.

“We are just trying to get the resources to the people as quickly as we can," he said. “This is the most devastating thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life."

Flaggs says MEMA has been criss-crossing the county assessing the damage. FEMA is expected to also travel to the county sometime this week. State local leaders say the hope is that they can meet the damage threshold in order to get the federal dollars needed to recover and rebuild.

“There are some things that you can plan for and there are some things you can’t, and this is one of those things that’s very, very difficult to plan for," said Lt. Gov. Reeves.

“It is absolutely necessary, it’s imperative that we get this," said Mayor Flaggs. These people don’t have insurance, they need assistance."

Storm victim Donnie Larry agrees and is waiting and praying that help comes soon. “We need help for everybody.”

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