Recovery, cleanup move ahead in Pontotoc County

Gov. Tate Reeves signed a State of Emergency for the county

PONTOTOC COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Although the damage is still evident, there has been a lot of progress in the four days since the tornado hit Pontotoc County.

“We were rated at an EF2 tornado from county line to county line,” said Pontotoc County Emergency Management Director Allen Bain.

Bain said preliminary assessments show about 115 structures, including homes, barns, and businesses were damaged. At least 30 homes are a total loss.

Bain said all homes and businesses that can get power are back on the grid. Now, the focus turns to debris cleanup. That can move ahead after the governor’s state of emergency declaration.

“For the most part, you have state agencies on major highways, but a majority of it will fall under the county. If we get declared by the federal government as an emergency that should open doors for additional financial assistance from FEMA,” Bain said.

Another part of the effort is helping tornado victims who have lost everything. The Pontotoc County Ag Center is the donation drop-off site. They have a lot that has been donated, and folks are still answering the call.

“Brought paper towels, tissue, canned food, Gatorade, stuff like that. It’s important because people of Pontotoc County stick together in stormy weather, any kind of disaster,” said Geraldine Wilson, of Pontotoc County.

“We have a lot of items for the initial emergency crisis response phase. But now resilient folks are moving to recovery, cleaning up, one of the big needs now, that might seem strange, outdoor tools, rakes, lawn and garden tools, contractor trash bags, all those kinds of things,” said Capt. Heather Dolby, of the Salvation Army of Tupelo.

The donation drop-off center will be open as long as there is a need in the county.

If you or someone you know needs more information, you can call (662)489 3946.

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