TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – Tupelo residents were surveying the damage after a tornado hit parts of the city Sunday night.
Leigh Hickman was at her home on Elvis Presley Drive when the tornado struck.
“Hail started and by that time, you could hear it, tearing up, everywhere, everywhere, me and my baby were in the bathroom, hunkered down, and praying,” Hickman said.
Within a few seconds, it was over and Hickman stepped outside.
My car got shifted sideways, it was like, the things in the backyard are in the front yard and the things in the front yard are in the back yard,” she said.
In the Park Hill neighborhood, Lauryn Spats and several friends took shelter at her home on Rae Street.
“We felt a rumble and shake across the house and we was in fear, prayed to the Lord,” Spats said.
“I blacked out, I could feel the whole house shaking,” said Trinity Mickell.
At dawn’s light, the damage was visible in those areas where the tornado touched down.
In the downtown residential district, Joe Haynes was assessing the damage after a huge tree in his backyard was uprooted, but thankfully, his house was spared.
“Because we have electric, as soon as the plumber gets out here today to reconnect our water lines, we will be good, just for the cleanup,” Haynes said.
At City Hall, Mayor Jason Shelton says the city’s emergency plan went into effect as soon as the tornado warning was issued.
“We’ve got a great team in place, I’m so very proud, we have been through the federal and state protocol if you will, on how to respond, this is the third tornado to hit the city of Tupelo in last eight years, the unfortunate silver lining is we’re good at responding to disasters,” Mayor Shelton said.
For those impacted by the tornado, the cleanup is underway, the rebuilding will follow and tornado victims know they will have plenty of help from friends and strangers. It’s part of what they call the Tupelo Spirit.
There were no injuries reported from the tornado. Tupelo Water and Light reported power has been restored to all but about fifty homes.