Volunteers still hard at work repairing Mississippi tornado damages

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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — Parts of DeSoto County still resembles a war zone nearly two weeks after tornadoes ripped a path of destruction.

Relief organizations may soon be wrapping up operations — possibly by the end of the week. But Wednesday, volunteers weren't slowing down in their efforts to help pick up the pieces.

"To see people come together like this, I mean, it's amazing; I can't explain it," DeSoto County resident Harry Robertson said.

Harry Robertson's home on Wheeler Road in DeSoto County may be covered with tarp, but it's wrapped in the love of volunteers with Samaritan's Purse.

"Ah, man I don't know all of them," Robertson said. "I met quite a few of them, and they're doing a wonderful job. It's been bringing tears to my eyes this morning."

The faith-based disaster relief organization is one of several that's been on the ground in DeSoto County since tornadoes hit Jan. 11.

"God has just led us here, and we're just happy to be able to help," volunteer Susan Bauman said.

Volunteers with Samaritan's Purse were putting a new roof and porch on Robertson's home and cutting up dozens of toppled trees Wednesday.

"We have been working since last Tuesday, and we have had over 150 volunteers come out and serve the community," volunteer Shannon Daley said. "Those are both local volunteers and those who have come in from around the nation."

Samaritan's Purse is currently working through about 100 requests for assistance from homeowners, about the same number as other relief groups. If no other requests come in, these volunteers could be finished in DeSoto County by the weekend.

For the men and women who come from all over the United States, disasters have one thing in common: victims who feel lonely and forgotten.

"You always think it happens to someone else, but it could be you," volunteer Perry Conrad said. "Wouldn't you want someone to come alongside you and help you and show you they love you and care about you?"

Samaritan's Purse is still taking volunteers and requests for assistance with damages. Anyone needing help should call 662-782-1169.

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