‘God provided’: Resident staying positive a week after Rolling Fork tornado
ROLLING FORK, Miss. (WLBT) - Ronnie Green carried several bags of chips, popcorn, and other snacks out to his car.
The Rolling Fork native was at his mobile home on Hoyt Street Friday afternoon to salvage what he could a week after an EF-4 tornado devastated his town.
Green, who survived the storm along with his daughter and granddaughter, considers himself one of the lucky ones, saying many people didn’t make it.
“We had a chance to get out with our lives and so that was exactly what we needed right there,” he said. “God provided us to live another day.”
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) reports seven tornados tore across Mississippi last Friday, including the one that devastated Rolling Fork and Silver City. In all, 21 people were killed.
The night is still fresh on Green’s mind. He was putting away groceries in the kitchen when his daughter called him to the bedroom to help him find a remote control.
“When I went to the bedroom... that’s when we looked at each other, and said, ‘Dog, that sounds like a train.’”
The three took cover under a mattress and stayed there for the next 30 seconds, as the storm ripped apart his home.
“If I had been still there putting up groceries, I don’t think I would have been here,” he said.
The storm tore much of his home’s roof and blew out windows in the kitchen and the living room. The front door also had been torn off, with portions of the fiberglass insulation hanging out.
In the kitchen, the wind ripped through the roof and bay window, while cabinets were open, with canned goods appearing untouched.
The tornado also damaged two of Green’s vehicles, including a Pontiac Bonneville parked to the rear of his property.
His neighbor’s home didn’t fare better. A kitchen wall had been ripped off, exposing the stove, refrigerator, and deep freeze. The appliances appeared barely touched, with dishes still sitting on top of the gas range.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been in a storm like this,” he said. “And I’m an ex-Marine.”
The lifelong Rolling Fork resident says he plans to rebuild, but probably in a different location.
Meanwhile, he and his family are adjusting to a new normal. Green works at Merit Health and he’s currently staying in Vicksburg during the week.
“For the moment, I have a residence at my job... I try to visit my family on the weekend. FEMA has provided my family [with] a hotel for this weekend,” he said. “We’ll see what happens next.”
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