Calhoun County residents face uncertainty as cleanup and damage assessment continues after EF-1 tornado

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CALHOUN CITY, Miss. (WCBI) – Friday, members of MEMA were out in Calhoun County to meet with area leaders and continue to assess the damage from Sunday’s tornado.

The recent EF-1 tornado has left many people in Calhoun County wondering where to go from here.

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The Department of Public Works says they are still in the process of determining what kind of relief the area might qualify for and officials will hold another meeting on the storm recovery effort on Saturday.

In the meantime, the cleanup effort in Calhoun City continues.

“We’ve probably done around 15 to 20 homes and cleaned the yards up this week,” said David Mitchell of Calhoun County Baptist Association Disaster Relief. “We still have a few left. Some homes are completely destroyed.”

Mitchell says they have been working in coordination with the fire department to clear away trees and wreckage in various local neighborhoods.

But while their service is free of charge, the rebuilding process will likely not be.

“It’s going to be a lot of construction and all the lumber and construction costs nowadays, it’s going to be quite a burden on them,” Mitchell said.

The tornado damaged 43 homes, six businesses and two bridges in Calhoun County.

“I was in the process of building the house and we were almost about to live in it,” said Jarvis Penson, whose home had a large tree fall through the middle of it. “Now it’s like everything’s gone, shattered, over with. Got to start from scratch.”

Penson is also one of several residents who do not have insurance.

“I tried to get some insurance before this stuff happened when I first started building on it,” he said. “But they was like ‘You can’t get no insurance before somebody’s living in it.'”

However, he is also grateful that no one was inside when the storm hit.

“As long as nobody got hurt, no lives taken, all this stuff can come back,” he said.

Calhoun City officials say they plan to start hauling away the majority of the storm debris on Monday.

Any residents or business owners who would like to self-report damage from the recent severe storms can do so through MEMA’s Crisis Track Self-Reporting tool.