Phil Campbell native rallies to help hometown

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Crystal Locklar is praying her hometown in storm-ravaged Alabama is not forgotten. The young woman from South Mississippi is from Phil Campbell, a town of less than 1,000, that got slammed by an F-5 tornado on April 27th.

She's doing all she can to offer help and help spread the word. Locklar appreciates her family's comfortable home in a peaceful, rural location in South Mississippi.

Inside her living room, logged on to Facebook account, she's keeping track of family and friends in tornado-ravaged Phil Campbell, Alabama.

She barely recognizes her own hometown.

"Some of these things, you don't even recognize," she said, pointing to damage in the online video. "You have to understand that Phil Campbell is a town that is maybe only three square miles in total."

The F-5 tornado, more than one mile wide, cut through that town with winds of nearly 200 miles an hour.

"Wiped out completely the south part of town but had heavy damage to the north part, as well," Locklar said. "I did everything I could, short of calling out the National Guard, to find out about my parents."

Thankfully, her family survived the storm and their home was spared. Others were not as fortunate. Her Sunday school teacher was among those killed.

"It's a very small town in northwest Alabama, has about 900 people. And out of 900 people, we have lost, I believe, 28 souls.  And I believe there's still four people missing," she said.

Anxious to help in whatever way she can, she and her children packed supplies for the storm victims.

"My heart is in Phil Campbell right now. My body is here, but my heart is in Phil Campbell. And I'm chomping at the bit to get up there and help with the relief effort."

She's hopeful others will do the same. With so much of the attention to other areas of Alabama, she wants to be certain her hometown is remembered.

"And my main concern is that no one knows about Phil Campbell, no one hears about Phil Campbell on the news," said Locklar.

A company in that community is helping collect and distribute supplies for the tornado victims.

Supplies are being sent to:

Clark Pulley Industries
120 Clark Drive
Russellville, Alabama 35653
(256) 332-4981

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