By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
SMITHVILLE – Early unofficial reports indicated that as many as 12 people could be dead after a tornado roared through this north Monroe County community, and the degree of destruction indicated that the number could go higher.
There has no official number of dead from the storm released.
The town of Smithville was devastated Wednesday afternoon by a tornado that left the north Monroe County community in shambles.
“People are walking around in shock with all sorts of injuries and folks are looking for their loved ones,” said Marsha Houck, a nurse praticioner who, like many volunteers, walked into the scene along Hwy 25 and started helping in any way she could.
No building along a mile-long stretch through town was unaffected and most were completely destroyed.
Downed power lines were tread under foot along with all manner of debris as a seemingly endless stream of emergency vehicles moved in, past pedestrians with stunned looks on their faces, and made their way west, toward a command center where they received their orders.
Monroe County coroner said people with missing family members in Smithville should report to county government complex in Amory 8 a.m. Thursday, WTVA anchor Craig Ford reported on Twitter.
Salvation Army to help in Smithville
Susan Gilbert, Director of Social Services at the Salvation Army complex in Tupelo, today ordered the Disaster Response vehicle prepared to provide emergency services. The relief vehicle is a fully, self-contained kitchen capable of preparing hot meals on sudden notice.
The vehicle is being dispatched to Smithville, Miss. Thurs., April 28, to provide hot food to victims of the recent severe weather. “They can pull in anywhere near a disaster and start feeding the people who need it,” said Pep Getties, a Salvation Army administrator.
William Archie, manager of the Red Shield Lodge, with help from lodge residents (photo), began loading the relief vehicle at 5:30 Wednesday night. “It’s just the two of us right now, Susan and myself. We still have to train relief volunteers,” said Archie about the relief efforts Thursday. Archie is driver and cook aboard the emergency vehicle.
The vehicle should be on site early Thursday to begin serving hot meals.
More in Thursday’s NEMS Daily Journal.