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Smithville remembers tornado's wrath, two years later

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 4/27/2013 10:45 pm
SMITHVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- For residents of Smithville, this was a day to remember and to look towards the future.

It's been two years now since the devasting losses of lives and property the town suffered during an EF-5 tornado.

But Saturday afternoon, it was time to reflect on the good.

"We've come a long ways, we have," said a smiling Sonya Thompson of Smithville. 

"It just shows you when God is in control and people pull together, miracles happen," said Carolyn Goldsborough of the Quincy Community.

Mayor Gregg Kennedy presented a plaque to a businessman-inventor who plans to start a business in Smithville. 

The inventor's name is John Campbell, a Mississippi-native who decided to bring his bunker-bed business to Smithville, where he hopes to open a manufacturing plant.

The bed doubles as a tornado bunker, which is partly why he is choosing Smithville.

"This is the perfect place to start a manufacturing plant, here in Smithville, to help build this town, you know. And the JC Bunker Bed is one of the awesome products to do that," said Campbell.

Two years ago, perhaps no one could imagine how the small town could recover from the worst disaster in its history.

Now it appears the sun is shining on Smithville as everyone, including state and local officials, believe the future is bright.

"There's also some pictures in the background of what will be our new Smithville Medical Clinic. It'll assist many people as well as U.S. veterans," said county supervisor Doug Wiggins as he pointed out drawings of the soon-to-be constructed buildings.

There were also pictures of Smithville's new town hall and community building as well as new homes.

"I think Smithville's on the right track. The school's looking good; the community is behind it. [They had] a new factory announcement today, so the Lord is good," said State Rep. Chris Brown of Smithville.

"It's just a great day, and it's clearly an indication that Smithville is moving in the right direction," said State Sen. Hob Bryan of Amory, who was also in attendance.

The bed inventor, John Campbell, says he hopes to employ at least a hundred people at his bed-making facility.
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