(Tupelo, MS) Wesley Webb had enough warning to get to his parent’s tornado shelter before Monday’s storms hit.
“I was at my parent’s home, here in Tupelo, north of town in Verona.”
At the same time, Hernando firefighter Nick Wallace had no warning as the Tupelo tornado hit and his phone rang.
”I got a call from my captain. He got a call from the task force leader, looking for guys to go, and the fire department sent three guys.”
For the next ten hours, he found himself chest-deep in storm debris from the tornado that cut a path of destruction across the eastern section of Tupelo.
DeSoto County task force members stay ready at a moment’s notice, then gear up at the Emergency Operation’s Center in Nesbit before heading out.
Wallace admitted he wasn’t quite prepared for the kind of devastation he witnessed, but as first responders do, he just put his shock aside and focused on the job.
”We did a lot of search and rescue, cleared houses, made sure nobody was trapped, did damage assessment,” said Wallace.
Fortunately, he didn’t find anyone dead or seriously injured.
He came home hours later, exhausted, and with a new appreciation for the violence of nature.
“There’s nothing you can do to stop it so it’s important to be ready and prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
Wesley Webb added one more thing, when the sirens sound you have to act fast.
”Hell, there was a tornado comin’!”
He believes that’s why so few people ended up injured from this violent storm.
DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco said he has deputies on standby for duty in Tupelo if they’re needed.