Beginning the Recovery Process in Hattiesburg
News 25 has been updating you on the situation in Hattiesburg as the Pine Belt region begins to repair the damage done by a deadly tornado this past weekend.
Brick by brick the people of Hattiesburg, Petal and the surrounding communities are beginning to clean up the mess left in the wake of a catastrophic tornado. As volunteers from near and far come to the aid of those impacted, it’s clear the healing process has already started, but officials want volunteers to follow proper procedures during the recovery effort. Monica Ritchie with Volunteer Mississippi said, “It’s extremely important for all volunteer organizations that are coming into the community to come through the VRC response center to register with us. It helps us to coordinate the efforts efficiently and effectively in order to reach all the individuals that have been impacted by the storm. Additionally it will help with federal match if it comes to that.”
Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves said, “We don’t have anything to report on that yet, but we’re hopeful that we’re going to get significant federal aid because the damage here is severe.”
Some people aren’t waiting on federal assistance to help those in need. Registered groups are working throughout the community to help with the initial cleanup and recovery effort, including many of the more fortunate residents of the impacted areas, like students from Petal who attend William Carey University, helping others after their community was left in pieces by the storm. Petal resident Grace Powell said, “It’s like both of my homes are torn to pieces. That’s heartbreaking. We’re just trying to help fix that as best we can.”
Petal resident Melanie Soldinie said, “I love these people even though I’ve never met them before, but it’s just what Jesus would do. So, we’re out here doing it, too.”