They were big, numerous, and devastating. Debris hurled for miles. People huddled where they could: bathtubs, basements, closets. "Came so fast, I didn't have time to put a pillow over my head."
W are accustomed to expecting tornadoes in the spring. Sometimes they pass over, other times they skip here and there without damage. Mississippi has lots of land filled with trees, not a clear, open landscape. And when there is a warning, we spend more time at the television set or huddled near the radio than at any other time, sometimes hundreds of times during the season. I've been known to usher my parents and children into closets, fully clothed, pillows nearby to put over their heads, water and food nearby. All the while Dad relaxes in his comfortable chair watching the weather news. Rarely perturbed, at times he laughs that I've taken such measures. I recall putting my 80-year-old parents in the bedroom closet while I was sitting in a hall closet and hearing them, like children, after 30 minutes, whisper, "Can we come out now?"
When the kids were small, we donned our rain gear and headed out to the "gully" a depression in the wooded area behind our house. At the time the ground was clear of leaves and debris and seemed safe enough. Today they laugh at the many times we sat out there. We should have had a clubhouse, they say, since we visited so often.
But you never know.
A local columnist of our newspaper, Rick Cleveland, summed up Yazoo County like this:
"The people of Yazoo have endured the Civil War, the great flood, a deadly yellow fever epidemic, the Great Depression, numerous tornadoes and a fire that burned most of downtown Yazoo City to the ground.
Often described as half hills and half Delta, Yazoo County is 100 per cent tenaciously durable. Folks here have to be."
Recently, Mississippi was considered top of the line in charity work. We believe in giving until it hurts. We furnish clothing, food, home items to anyone who needs help. Neighborhoods band together to help local small organizations by collecting shoes, clothes, hygiene products, water, or whatever is requested. We furnish homes and wardrobes for those in need. So helping those stricken with the loss of their homes is nothing new for fellow Mississippians.
The above map shows how the line of tornadoes--28 in all--ravaged its way across western and then east. Our home is located at the dot. We were fortunate to have intermittant rain. Now it's time to go through our closets and find good clothing we no longer need and give to the needy.
We take care of our own.