February 24, 2020 10:16:39 AM
One year ago the lives of many in Columbus were changed forever. When an EF-3 tornado struck our town late on a Saturday evening February 23, 2019, residents took to the streets to immediately begin helping one another.
That help has continued for the past 12 months as our city rebuilds lives, homes and businesses that were struck by this storm. Strangers came and continue to come from all over the country to do everything from minor repairs to complete home rebuilding.
This past Saturday we commemorated the one-year anniversary with a "Day of Service" in coordination with the Community Recovery Committee of Lowndes County. Over 100 people came out to spend the morning working and helping in those neighborhoods most affected by the storm.
Our work continues to help our neighbors. A $250,000 gift from Mississippi Emergency Management has been used to help those with physical needs. FEMA, MEMA and the SBA came to our city and 471 persons registered for financial assistance. Volunteers from area civic groups, churches, schools and more are helping each week with the rebuilding.
The City of Columbus is rebuilding the Sim Scott Community Center, an area of vital importance to our citizens to meet and share time with one another.
Since the storm, we have picked up over 7 million pounds of debris from the storm at no charge to residents. We have taken down over 34 homes that were damaged beyond repair to make way for new construction.
Our work continues for our city and our neighbors. You have my pledge to everyday work to continue to make Columbus a great place to live, work and raise a family.
Robert Smith, Sr.
Mayor of Columbus
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