Governor tours tornado ravaged Smithville - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Governor tours tornado ravaged Smithville

SMITHVILLE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Some Mississippi residents and business owners can access federal emergency assistance programs.  President Barack Obama had issued a federal disaster declaration for seven counties Friday.

For the first time in 45 years the magnolia state was hit by an EF-5 tornado.  Right in its path sat the small town of 900 residents, Smithville in Monroe County.  According to the National Weather Service, the tornado packed winds of more than 200 miles per hour.

From the air the scope of the damage the EF-5 five tornado left in its path could be seen clearly.  On the ground among Smithville residents was where the deep devastation and painful loss could be felt of a community now broken.

"What was left was people and bodies everywhere, scattered. It's just the most God awful thing I've seen in my life," said a Smithville man.

It was the strongest tornado to hit Mississippi since the Candlestick Park twister in Jackson in 1966.

14 people were killed in this small town, another 12 are still missing.

"Our lives are totally shattered, but a lot of us are still living. That's something to be thankful for," said Smithville Mayor Greg Kennedy.

Friday Governor Haley Barbour toured streets lined with flattened homes and destroyed businesses.

"The utter obliteration that has happened in this town is moving, eye opening and makes us all committed to doing everything we can to be sure that this community comes back quickly," said Governor Haley Barbour.

Hours later the Governor's request for federal disaster assistance was granted in Monroe County and six others. 

"Making sure there are supplies available, that will be for the immediate.  Then as we build to recover there will be longer term issues that happen that involve housing and small business restoration," said Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano from FEMA headquarters.

For now it is neighbor helping neighbor to rebuild Smithville brick by brick.

©2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Sunrise Kitchen: Bronzed Red Fish with Crawfish Etouffee

    Sunrise Kitchen: Bronzed Red Fish with Crawfish Etouffee

    Friday, February 23 2018 5:16 AM EST2018-02-23 10:16:00 GMT

    Sowela Chef Roy Angelle and his students, Torrie Maturin and Savannah Deskin, share a recipe for Bronzed Red Fish with Crawfish Etouffee. Bronzed Red Fish Ingredients: Two 8 oz. Red Fish filets Blackening season 1 heaping tablespoon paprika 2 teaspoons salt 1 heaping teaspoon garlic powder 1 heaping teaspoon onion powder 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons black pepper 1/2 teaspoon drie...

    More >>

    Sowela Chef Roy Angelle and his students, Torrie Maturin and Savannah Deskin, share a recipe for Bronzed Red Fish with Crawfish Etouffee. Bronzed Red Fish Ingredients: Two 8 oz. Red Fish filets Blackening season 1 heaping tablespoon paprika 2 teaspoons salt 1 heaping teaspoon garlic powder 1 heaping teaspoon onion powder 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons black pepper 1/2 teaspoon drie...

    More >>
  • Man arrested after jumping on stage at church to yell about pizza rolls, ice cream and movies

    Man arrested after jumping on stage at church to yell about pizza rolls, ice cream and movies

    Thursday, February 22 2018 10:12 PM EST2018-02-23 03:12:02 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    A man went to The Gathering church in Sulphur Sunday, walked on stage and started talking about pizza rolls, ice cream and watching a movie.  Luckily security jumped in before anything more could happen.  When two men came into The Gathering during service Sunday, senior pastor Casey Rader knew something just wasn't right.   "They were walking with a purpose, and I noticed they kept coming closer to the stage," said Rader.  One of them actually m...

    More >>

    A man went to The Gathering church in Sulphur Sunday, walked on stage and started talking about pizza rolls, ice cream and watching a movie.  Luckily security jumped in before anything more could happen.  When two men came into The Gathering during service Sunday, senior pastor Casey Rader knew something just wasn't right.   "They were walking with a purpose, and I noticed they kept coming closer to the stage," said Rader.  One of them actually m...

    More >>
  • LSU Greek Life task force makes recommendations, 4 months after hazing death of LSU student

    LSU Greek Life task force makes recommendations, 4 months after hazing death of LSU student

    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:40 PM EST2018-02-23 02:40:36 GMT
    (Source: LSU Daily Reveille)(Source: LSU Daily Reveille)
    (Source: LSU Daily Reveille)(Source: LSU Daily Reveille)

    After four months of deliberations following the hazing death of a pledge, LSU’s task force on Greek Life presented 28 recommendations for overseeing fraternities and sororities, including an amnesty policy and moving Greek tailgating to chapter houses. LSU President F. King Alexander plans in March to bring the recommendations to a meeting of presidents of other universities. He said a number of universities plan to adopt similar policies. However, the family of Maxwell Gruve...

    More >>

    After four months of deliberations following the hazing death of a pledge, LSU’s task force on Greek Life presented 28 recommendations for overseeing fraternities and sororities, including an amnesty policy and moving Greek tailgating to chapter houses. LSU President F. King Alexander plans in March to bring the recommendations to a meeting of presidents of other universities. He said a number of universities plan to adopt similar policies. However, the family of Maxwell Gruve...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly