Recovery continues in Columbia two weeks after twister

Recovery continues in Columbia two weeks after twister
(Photo source: WLOX)
(Photo source: WLOX)
(Photo source: WLOX)

Columbia, MS (WLOX) - It was two weeks ago Wednesday a killer tornado swept through Marion and Jones counties causing five deaths and millions of dollars in damages.

A team of volunteers from the Chicago area helped remove storm debris from a hard hit neighborhood along Highway 13.

"We're Christians and this is what we do. We come and help people when they need help," said Bruce Riemann.

Riemann says his church group from Illinois has seen this destruction before. They also responded after Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy.

"I love it. I love it. It enriches my soul and I'm just so happy to be here," said the volunteer.

Across the highway, a work team from "Hope Reigns" was busy collecting and stacking debris. Michael Thompson from Tupelo arrived three days ago to help out.

"Just help people, however we can. Clean up their mess. Cut down trees. Whatever needs done. An opportunity to love on 'em and tell them about Jesus," said Thompson.

In the heavily damaged area along Highway 13, dozens of homes were destroyed, but miraculously, no one was killed here. Linda Bolton is one of those miracles.

"I was taking it lightly, I didn't realize how drastic it was. It's just a blessing. A blessing to be here. I'm alive. It's just a blessing," said Bolton.

Moments before the twister hit, she'd been standing near a large window at the front of her house.

"Every pane in that window blew out. I was standing there. I was just stunned and all of a sudden something just moved me to the middle part of the house. And in about two to three minutes everything was over with. I mean, the damage was done," she recalled.

She is amazed and thankful at the outpouring of donations and volunteers.

"Just wonderful people. Strangers just come in helping strangers. It's just love of mankind towards each other. I'm just amazed at it. It's just wonderful. There's still some good people left in the world. It's just beautiful," she observed.

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