June 5, 2013 10:44:07 AM
SMITHVILLE -- A group of volunteers from a Mississippi town that was hit hard by a tornado in 2011 will travel this week to help victims of a deadly twister that hit Oklahoma.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal says volunteers from Smithville Baptist Church will leave Wednesday to take a trailer full of supplies to Moore, Okla.
A deadly EF5 tornado devastated Smithville in April 2011. Sixteen people were killed and 153 homes, four churches, the Town Hall, the police headquarters and 14 of the 15 businesses in the one-square-mile town were destroyed.
An EF5 storm hit Moore on May 20, killing two dozen, and destroying a large swath of the town.
Smithville Baptist Church Pastor Wes White says part of the goal is to minister to the people of Moore.
When the tornado hit Smithville in 2011, White was in his red brick church with some residents from a nearby mobile home park who had sought shelter. White says they clung to one another "like a mass of humanity" as the church disintegrated, and somehow all survived.
"I think we will offer a unique perspective for some people there since many of the people in the group have experienced the same exact thing they have," White said.