One year after Holly Springs tornado, victims say they have a new look on life

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. — Friday marks the one-year anniversary of deadly tornadoes tearing through the Mid-South. The tornadoes affected families in Arkansas, northern Mississippi and Tennessee.

WREG visited Holly Springs, one of the hard-hit areas.

“We got in the room, and I grabbed the door and was holding the door while the house was just shaking. My hand was shaking, I was praying, and I then I realized it was over with,” said Anthony Marion.

Marion remembers the day, December 23, 2015, well.

“Last year at this time it was very humid, very hot,” he said.

The winter tornadoes and high winds that pummeled the Mid-South toppled trees, leveled homes and churches and left multiple people dead.

You can still see the damage to the trees around Marion’s home, which today is as good as new after the roof and portions of the inside were replaced.

Marion calls himself blessed, but he’s not the only one who is thankful to have a new home.

The Christmas tree in Kisha and Willie Scrugg’s home shines bright. After the storm hit, it took six months for damages to their home to be fixed. The anniversary of the tornado especially strikes a chord for Willie. He was at the hospital in Olive Branch for his father when he received word about the storm.

“I actually left to come here to try to see about the house. They wouldn’t let us in because of course they have to do their disaster thing, and then I got a call from my brother saying pops was coding, so I drive back to Olive Branch and of course he had passed away,” he said.

However, through the struggles and pain, the couple says they’re grateful.

“I got more of a peace of mind bout things, ya know? The little thing you used to worry about doesn’t matter because you know it could be gone in a second,” said Willie.

Marion said through the storm, there’s a blessing.

“Today has been a reminder that this is the day that it happened, this Christmas we’re just gonna be glad to be alive and that it’s not a spring-winter.”