Louisville citizens remember deadly EF-4 tornado

The devastation left dozens of families without a place to call home.

LOUISVILLE,Miss. (WCBI)-Today marks eight years since an EF-4 tornado touched down in Louisville.

The devastation left dozens of families without a place to call home.

Coming together through a time of uncertainty.

Eight years ago, the city of Louisville was nearly unrecognizable.

Trees covered roads, cars lay in ditches, homes were damaged and people were mourning lost family members.

“I went, and I looked out and the window and I saw it coming.We ran back. We got in the closet. A door fell on a leg and broke my ankle.Other than that we were safe but it destroyed everything that we had. We were living in this house that we built 50 years ago,” said Joe Johns.

Joe John’s home sat here on the corner of McCullough Drive.

Now, it’s just a slab of concrete.

“Our bedroom was back here. The rest was the den and the other two bedrooms and the living room. All gone. To look and see trucks, your car, just demolished and all the work you’ve done over the years everything was gone,”said Johns.

And John’s isn’t the only one.

Several driveways still lead to empty foundations…

” I saw it from my truck as it was coming over Lake Tiak-O’Khata and that’s when I realized it was heading into town. And I realized the magnitude of the tornado we were looking at,” said Sheriff Jason Pugh.

Winston County Sheriff Jason Pugh says 10 people died in the tornado’s 30 mile path.

” A lot of people weren’t that lucky. Most everybody in this community lost somebody they cared about or had damage or injury to somebody that was important to them,” said Pugh.

Like many, Pugh’s family lost their belongings in the storm.

But,material items didn’t matter that evening, community did.

” They pulled together and just helped get the roads clear. They helped people get their lives back in order. I give all our credit to our local people,” said Deputy Keith Alexander.

In the 8 years since, City and County leaders and the people they represent have continued to pull together to bring Winston County back stronger.

” The mayor did a great job in having a storm shelter built. Also the board of supervisors were great getting a shelter built at Nanih Waiya,” said Pugh.

Winston Medical Center was rebuilt and dozens of businesses have reopened.

” I’m very emotional but I just count our blessings,” said Johns.

Pugh says the Board of Supervisors is working to build a storm shelter in Noxapater.

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