By Ashley Gooden, ABC3340
There will be a long road to recovery for many families in the southeast. From Mississippi to Alabama, several of them thought they were in the clear before the worst came. As they pick up the pieces, many are just grateful they prepared before it was too late.
“People were getting up and getting ready to go back to bed and that’s when it hit… And those things happen,” said Denise Cooey, Deputy Director of Gasden Etowah County EMA.
Several homes were destroyed in the Etowah County area, this all comes after a severe thunder storm warning. Cooey says within minutes of that warning, calls came in about destruction in Glencoe.
“Nature is freakish. You just do the best you can. Everybody that I had talked to here in Glencoe had done the right thing. They’d watched all night, kept a real good watch on the weather all night, like we at the EOC thought it was over,” says Cooey.
“I think it took the back off that house next door to me there… Not something I’d want to go through again,” said Prince.
Farther south in Troy, Alabama at least one tornado was reported.
To the west in Vicksburg, Mississippi, a similar story, James Patrick McGuffey’s mother was one of several injured after a tree fell through their home.
“Just like a big wind sock. A big wind tunnel. There was nothing you could really do, I mean it happened so fast, there was nothing you could do,” said McGuffey.
In Monroe County, Mississippi, one elderly man was killed and several others were injured.
Lily Pierce spent several hours huddled in place with family.
“Basically all we could do was crouch on the ground and pray, and we could hear our ears popping, hear stuff ripping out around us, and then we finally felt like it was safe enough to open the door and look and we turned around and saw the roof was on top of us,” said Pierce.
These families may be uncertain of when they’ll make a full recovery, but one thing is for certain, April 14th, 2019 will be a day they’ll never forget.
The National Weather Service will soon be assessing the damage and will determine just what blew through Etowah County early Sunday morning.
Monroe County officials say it will take a while for power to be restored to all of their customers.