April 26, 2010 11:23:00 AM
Allen Baswell - firstname.lastname@example.org
Columbus extended a helping hand to tornado victims in Choctaw and Yazoo counties, areas which received significant damage from Saturday''s storm system that cut a wide swath of destruction through the state.
According to Columbus Fire Department Chief Kenneth Moore, a search and rescue team was dispatched to the stricken areas to provide assistance in determining the severity of damage to homes and making sure that all residents were accounted for.
Moore said he is coordinator of a team known as Task Force Two, which is involved in search and rescue work.
"We cover the central portion of Mississippi, from Lowndes County to Meridian, to Jackson and beyond. We received a call Saturday around 12:30 p.m. that a tornado struck Yazoo City, and if we could send a team down there," he said.
Moore added that within a two-hour period, a call came from Choctaw County, which had also been hit by a tornado.
"We worked into the afternoon and evening hours Saturday in both Yazoo and Choctaw counties. We worked to see how bad the homes were damaged, and to see that no one was left unaccounted for. A total of 15 people went on this mission to both places. We completed our work Sunday afternoon, and returned to Columbus after 7 p.m.," Moore said.
Damage in Hamilton
Although Monroe County received some damage as a result of Saturday''s storm system that passed through the area, Monroe County Sheriff Andy Hood said it has not been determined if it was from straight-line winds or a tornado.
"I have been in contact with Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, and they have not confirmed that it was or was not a tornado," he said.
Whether or not it was a tornado, Hood said that there was damage to homes in Hamilton, yet no injuries were reported.
"There are some homes that were damaged due to fallen trees or tree limbs, but they were not destroyed. No one was injured. A few carports were heavily damaged or destroyed by fallen trees," he said.
Hood said the greatest concentration of damage was along Hamilton Road and Grubb Springs Road.
"Those were the two areas where the most damage occurred from fallen trees. Otherwise, it''s just scattered limbs, leaves and other debris that people are cleaning up," he said.
Allen Baswell is a former staff reporter for The Dispatch