WATER VALLEY, Miss. (WCBI) – It was the evening before Easter Sunday in 1984, when a destructive tornado barreled through Water Valley. The small town was left in ruins, leaving the community reeling and trying to rebuild.
Tyler Hill was just a little boy when a massive tornado destroyed several homes and businesses. Seven people lost their lives that day. Today, Hill is President of the Water Valley Chamber of Commerce. He remembers seeing his own family’s home in shambles.
“We are celebrating because things have been built back and progress has been made. I was in first grade at the time. My house was totally obliterated from the ground up,” says Hill.
Tommy White also grew up in Water Valley. His family’s business was directly in the path of the tornado but he had no idea he’d be caught in the eye of the storm.
“It’s awfully noisy inside of a tornado and the reason for it is, is that I was screaming so loudly. Therefore, it was dangerous. It was a problem. I actually drove into the middle of the funnel cloud and survived it,” says White.
The Water Valley community received help from all over the country. It took several years to rebuild but today Water Valley is thriving. Water Valley has not experienced another tornado quite like the one from 1984 but they now have an advanced warning system in place.
The Water Valley tornado caused nearly $25 million in damages. Today, that would be nearly $60 million.