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Community cleanup planned in The Pines


Tim Pratt



A second community cleanup event is planned this weekend in The Pines mobile home park, which was devastated the night of Nov. 29 by an EF-2 tornado. 


Weather permitting, the cleanup will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. in the community off Louisville Street, about a quarter mile south of Starkville High School, said Geri Jones, one of the organizers. Groups will meet at the park''s management office. 


Jones and fellow Starkville High School class of 1975 alumni Annie Norman and Vicki West decided to organize the cleanup after Norman''s home in The Pines was damaged during the storm, Jones said. Dozens of people turned out for the first cleanup organized by the women on Dec. 4, she said.  


"We''ve all been pulling together," Jones said.  


Those who attend the cleanup this weekend should bring their own gloves, garbage bags, shovels, rakes and other cleanup items. Chainsaws and protective eye-wear also are needed to remove downed trees. 


"If you don''t live down there, you don''t know what''s going on down there, and there is still a lot to do," Jones said. 


In the event of inclement weather this weekend, the cleanup will take place Dec. 18.  


A tornado hit The Pines at approximately 11:08 p.m. Nov. 29. According to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, 15 homes in The Pines were destroyed by the storm, 18 more sustained major damage, 20 received minor damage and 44 others were affected.  


The Red Cross put 17 families in hotels and provided those families with financial assistance to purchase food and clothing. Red Cross workers also distributed dozens of comfort kits, cleanup kits and tarps to residents, as well as water and snacks. Oktibbeha-Starkville Emergency Response Volunteer Services placed 19 people in hotels and provided additional assistance.  


Fifteen people in Oktibbeha County were injured in the storm. No deaths were reported.




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