Less than 24 hours after a tornado ripped through a swath of Hattiesburg, clean-up crews, power company workers, along with homeowners and businesses are trying to pick the pieces.
The people who live off 18th Street all say the same thing: We will recover.
On Monday, the Hattiesburg neighborhood looked like a war zone. For a few seconds on Sunday afternoon, it felt like one as well.
"Everybody was running around. There were fire departments. There was a lady trapped over there that they got out. I think was she okay," Stephen Scott remembered. "My poor neighbors' over there had a house. I mean, you can just look around. It's what it is. I don't think anybody saw this coming."
Despite the sirens blaring across the city, some were caught off guard by the howling winds and snapping trees.
"I didn't really know what was going on until it hit us," Erin Marshall said. "So we had to get into the bathroom and get into the tub and cover our heads, and that's when the tree came falling down on the house."
For many though, the sirens did their job.
"When I hear those alarms, I know to take cover," Dot Peek said. "We all holed up in the bedroom. It seemed like it took for hours for it to go over. We know it was just a few seconds."
Despite the devastation in the neighborhoods, despite the personal losses and damage, one thing everybody said was they're very thankful to still be alive.
"The house just started shaking and going on, and so in about four or five seconds it was over with, and thank God we're still living to see another day," Alfred Dixon said.
"Materials things don't mean nothing like your life does. We'll overcome it," Dot Peek said.
Monday, September 1 2014 10:27 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:27:53 GMT
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