Winston County experiences five year recovery

WINSTON COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – During severe weather this week, one county is keeping their eyes open since experiencing tragedy in the past.

Devastation hit Winston County not too long ago.

A tornado completely stattered everyone in the area.

Looking to the future, they are preparing for what may be next.

In 2014, a long-form tornado ripped through Winston County.

In those 35 miles of damage, lives were lost, homes were destroyed, and some commercials businesses are no longer.

“We ended up seeing about 100 people in our ER, after the tornado hit, weren’t running on emergency power, water dripping from the ceilings, it’s just a testament to what people can and will do in times of a disaster or any type of crisis out there,” said CEO of Winston County Medical Center Paul Black.

After the tragedy, they went to work.

From major improvements for technology, plans of action, and new facilities, city and county leaders want to make sure next time, they will be ready.

“The greatest improvements was a joint effort between the city of Louisville and Winston County to purchase a state wide radio system. It was a full compliance every first responder has a radio. They can not only talk to all of the neighboring agencies but in the county, outside the county, and state agencies as well,” said Emergency Management Agency Director Buddy King.

There’s construction underway for a public safety building.

This will take a year and a half to complete.

And a brand new state of the art hospital replaces the one destroyed by the tornado.

But even with all the progress, all the changes, the people who lived through the storm can’t help but worry.

“The anxiety level is very enhanced here at to the point that we really have to watch on testing our tornado sirens, it causes people to have some response to hearing that noise once again they associate it only the worst things in life,” said King.

This community lost so much.

But it is through the community efforts that recovery continues.

“Look around, ride the streets. See how we recovered from that devastation. These people demand the best from its public servants, that’s one thing that’s always in the back of my mind. Things are not the same they were before that day, in lots of ways there better. Our streets are more smooth,we have new streetlights, we have new power systems, we have better warning but there’s a part of life we all lost that day,” said King.

Winston County has storm shelters on two of the five school campuses, they’re working to add more.

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