Memories, debris hauled away in Pearl River County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Memories, debris hauled away in Pearl River County

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PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

This week, Pearl River County work crews began hauling away storm debris left behind by those Christmas Day tornadoes. Seventeen homes were destroyed and some 20 others were severely damaged from the tornadoes.

Watching work crews in action stirred up many emotions for victims of the storm. Sue Lott said goodbye to a mirror that she looked for more than 50 years, the glass table she sat her coffee on each morning, and the chairs that allowed her to sit down for family meals.

The broken items that were once the Lott family's life treasures are now nothing more than a pile of storm debris.

"It broke my heart. It has broken my heart, not my will, but it broke my heart to see everything I had as a child and then as a grown up here just destroyed, just utterly destroyed in four seconds. And now it's just a big pile of rubble. It means nothing to nobody but us," said Lott.

Work crews began hauling off the storm debris Monday morning. They are scooping up the vegetative debris first then the household rubble.

Sue Lott spent the morning combing through the mess one last time, looking for the Bible her father, who was a preacher, gave her when she was a child.

"It's gone and I'm crushed. I'm just crushed. And that's something I can't get back and was hanging onto for my father's memory," remarked an emotional Lott.

Her 86-year-old mother, Frances Lott, was injured during the tornado and spent a week in the hospital recovering. She hasn't been able bring herself to look at the devastation.

"I didn't have much, but it belonged to me. Every bit of it," Frances Lott.

Her daughter, Sue, told WLOX, "She is totally traumatized. Totally."

It's been more than a month since the devastating tornados touched down in Pearl River County. For many of the storm victims, like the Lott family, recovery has been tough.

"I have no idea what we're going to do," Sue said.

But she knows starting over can't begin until the rubble is gone.

The Lott family had no insurance. A benefit account has been established in Frances M. Lott's name. Donations can be made at any Hancock Bank location.

As for the clean-up, Pearl River County leaders estimate crews will pick up 4,200 cubic yards of debris before the work is finished.

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