When two large tornadoes ripped across 31 miles of Chickasaw County in April 2011 many wondered how the community would recover.
Those in city and county government probably looked a little farther down the road and wondered how the community would ever pay for it all.
Elected officials think a little different from most of us. While you probably thought about the cost of replacing shingles, windows and furniture blown away by the storm, city and county leaders were thinking about the cost of diesel fuel, wear-and-tear on city and county equipment and labor costs.
There were roads to be cleared, tons of debris to be moved and countless hours to be spent on heavy equipment as Chickasaw County tried to dig out and clean up.
And just a little more than two years later, this county is being recognized for cleaning up after the storm with a final check from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, leaving us with no debt and things pretty much back to normal.
How did we do it?
By working together, calling on resources from around the state and region and by keeping meticulous books on every penny spent.
We want to thank supervisors for erasing district lines and letting county equipment go where it was needed most. We want to thank city crews from Woodland, Houlka, Okolona and Houston for setting up offices and locations for those hit by the storm to go to and receive help. We want to thank our Sheriff’s Department to letting inmates do some of the heavy lifting. We want to thank Chickasaw Emergency Management Agency for keeping up with receipts, grants, donations and state and federal dollars that got us back on our feet. And we want to thank our very own Long Term Recovery Committee that made sure no one fell through the cracks.
We did not mention names in this space, because it is clear this was a team effort that saw this community band together to get the job done.
The storm that raked Chickasaw County in April 2011 was bad news, but this community worked together to push us all in a good direction.