The day after a Christmas tornado tore through parts of Pearl River County, Mississippi, the National Weather Service said there were zero deaths, eight people hospitalized, nearly two dozen homes damaged and countless trees snapped.
But numbers can’t measure the worry, stress and despair for those heading into the new year without a home.
Darlene Gros told us she rushed to the home of her aunt after it was ripped apart by the EF-3 twister.
Gros said she found her elderly family member sitting on her couch in front of the TV with her remote control in hand before she was rescued in good condition.
A couple houses down, Sue Hubbard was taking in the damage to her roofless brick home.
“It’s horrible, and I was a pretty neat housekeeper. I mean I kept everything as perfect as I could, so it’s very devastating“, Hubbard said.
She and her husband were celebrating Christmas with their children in Columbia, MS, when the tornado tore apart several homes on the Chapel Sones Road in Pearl River.
Hubbard, who returned home to find her 44-year-old three-bedroom house destroyed, said she is a three-time cancer survivor.
Near the worst damage the spirit of giving was still going strong Wednesday night, as the McNeil Volunteer Fire Department took bags and boxes full of donated items for storm victims.
More clothes and goods for needy families were being dropped off than volunteers could handle, but they said they were grateful, and even though her home is gone, so is Sue Hubbard.
“I survived cancer three times, (but) my family is here, thank God, and by the grace of God I can start over again. “