I sat in my office – located in West Hattiesburg and a mere 25-30 minute drive from Columbia, MS – on December 23, 2015. I knew it was supposed to to be bad weather that day, but – as we all know – we never know what is really going to happen until it happens. The very best meteorologist can only forecast the weather. By the time I made it home that evening, Columbia, MS was the lead story on the NBC Nightly News. Columbia had been hit by the deadliest tornado in Mississippi since 1952.
The people of Columbia would not be defeated. They, as many communities before them, are rebuilding. WDAM, the local NBC & ABC (amongst others) affiliate, participated in a telethon that has (to date) raised over $200,000. There is also a website, designed by Relevant Design & powered by Black Tie Marketing Group, providing information and a place to donate. This was also in conjunction with the Greater PineBelt Community Organization.
— wdam (@wdam) January 11, 2015
From the Columbia Strong Website:
On December 23, 2014 Gov. Phil Bryant issued a state of emergency for Marion and Jones counties, along with other parts of the state affected by severe weather. This is the deadliest December tornado event in Mississippi since the Vicksburg tornado on Dec. 5, 1952. “We all need to come together to help victims of this deadly tornado,” said Jerron Carney, pastor of Woodlawn Church. “Survivors reported that the tornado was upon them in a flash. Families scrambled for closets, bathtubs, under mattresses and tables, anywhere close that offered some semblance of safety. Within minutes, property, landscapes and vehicles were destroyed, and sadly four lives were lost; two in Marion County and two in Jones County.”
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