After storm ravages DeSoto County, volunteers go to work

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LEWISBURG, Miss. — Volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief team were at work in DeSoto County on Tuesday, helping residents clean up after Saturday’s EF-2 tornado.

The damage is all over, but the love and strength of this community outshines all of that. Some people said it’s the only thing getting them through.

Ninety-three-year-old Gladys Allison said she’s still in shock after a tree fell in the middle of her home, narrowly missing her.

“Oh it’s been terrible hun,” she said. “In shock. Some things, somebody tells me and I say, I may remember and I may not. I’m just in shock. It’s been terrible.”

Her home is one of hundreds in DeSoto County damaged in the storm.

“My kitchen ceiling came right down beside me. I didn’t know I was that close to being hit in the head,” Allison said.

Groups like Samaritan’s Purse have come in to help with cleanup. They’ve already been busy cutting down trees, cleaning debris and putting up tarps.

Shannon Daley with Samartian’s Purse said though the damage is extensive, it was “encouraging to see neighbor helping neighbor as we drove through as well.”

Volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse work in DeSoto County, Mississippi after a tornado and strong storms Jan. 11. (photo Samaritans Purse)

Volunteers are working with a sense of urgency with more rain in this week’s forecast.

“We don’t want them to lose anything else after such devastation, so being able to get those tarps on those roofs, trees off those houses so we’re able to get the tarp on there will mean the world to people before those rains come,” Daley said.

It’s a much-needed show of love and support for people still processing all that’s happened.

“Oh i’m so thankful for everything,” Allison said. “As I said, anything that anybody does, I’m so grateful to help. I didn’t know it was so many volunteers to come in and do stuff like this until this all happened.”

Allison didn’t have insurance but her family has set up a Gofundme to help as she gets back on her feet.

Meanwhile, a second round of volunteers arrives Tuesday night, and will work the next two weeks.

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