Column: It could have been us

Published 2:06 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2023

As the sun rose the Saturday morning after the Rolling Fork tornado, we as a state were able to see the true destruction tornadoes can wreck on small communities. Towns smaller than Brookhaven were completely leveled and 25 people were killed. 

The gas station on the corner of Parkway Street, MS 14 and Race Street, which filled my stomach with fried chicken after a duck hunt at Muscadine Farms WMA this winter, was destroyed along with nearby homes. A wooden bridge crossing a canal was the only thing still recognizable as I watched drone video of a whipped out Rolling Fork from an undamaged home in Lincoln County. 

We were extremely fortunate to not receive any damage this weekend. Friday night, I got home in time to watch a brief shower before storm clouds moved north towards Jackson. My eyes checked the NWS Jackson twitter account and WLBT News but felt certain of safety throughout the night. 

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Other communities were not as lucky. 

A week prior to the storms NWS Jackson started warning of a risk of severe weather. We have a similar warning this week as NWS forecasts more severe storms to come Friday. 

The tricky thing about weather, especially in Mississippi, is when you see enough tornado watches and severe weather outlooks with little damage you can be lulled into a false sense of security. Friday’s outbreak of seven tornadoes should wake us up to heed those warnings. 

It could have very easily been us. It could have been our town and yet we were somehow spared by the grace of God. 

Additionally, it is in the grace of God where I find peace and comfort in storms. While I certainly try to take every precaution to stay safe and weather alert, I also recognize this earth is my home for a temporary time. Everything is out of my control and my life is in His hands. 

Oh what a comfort God is. Oh what a blessing each sunrise brings, especially when the turkeys are gobbling. Thank you God for your blessings each morning and I pray the people impacted by tornadoes will find comfort in you.