DeSoto County tornado cleanup could be months from completion

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HERNANDO, Miss. — It’s been nearly two weeks since a pair of tornadoes devastated parts of DeSoto County.

The Emergency Management director said power is fully restored, but the full cleanup for those impacted will take months.

This week’s weather has certainly made cleanup challenging with rain Thursday and now cold weather Friday. But those working with the cleanup efforts said work will continue until it's finished.

"It’s a close knit community, and we’ve all come together," said Frank Polk with Mid-South Tree Services. "There’s some amazing stories that have come out of this. People’s lives were saved by seconds, and it’s just amazing to be a part of it."

Polk and his team donated their time and equipment to help people in Hernando recover.

"It’s great to be able to help people that really can’t afford to have the work done," Polk said. "God has been so good to me, we just need to share the blessings."

They’re doing not doing the work alone. Volunteers with Samaritan's Purse disaster relief team were also helping to clear debris and place tarps on homes.

“Samaritan’s Purse has over 100 work requests in this area," team member Shannon Daley said. "We have about 20 of those left open, but they are big jobs like this that are just going to take some time."

That time for cleanup gives residents more time to heal.

"Once we’re gone, there will probably be some work that needs to be done, and these local volunteers will be here to help that," Daley said. "And here in DeSoto County, we’ve had a huge response of local volunteers and are just so thankful for the work they’ve done."

The DeSoto County Emergency Management director said they’re in the process of working on low-interest loans from the small business administration to help with cleanup.

He expects the cleanup process to take several months.

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