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Smithville's journey to return to its pre-storm charm

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Updated: 8/24/2013 12:30 am
SMITHVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- For the town of Smithville Friday Night Football means more than just cheers, excitement, first and tens and even more than touchdowns- it's about the restoration of hope for a community that loss so much.

"Everything was gone all the way around us, the dining room was gone,"

Owner of Mel's diner, Melanie Edwards describes the scene after an E-F5 tornado tore through her restaurant 2 years ago.

"The kitchen was just moved over. It shifted the wall just a little bit but everyone in the kitchen was fine the Lord was with us," said Edwards.

Edward's diner is one of the businesses that decided to rebuild and two years later the town is continuing that rebuilding process.

"The school coming back, the town hall that they are starting on- that has really helped the community. They are excited that everything is going to be back to normal," said Edwards.

Chad O'Brian is the principal of Smithville Attendance Center and says moving back to the schools original campus speaks to the resilient spirit of the town and its residents.   

"I think across the board they would tell you that the school is the heartbeat of this town. And it's a very strong, very resilient town," said O'Brian.

O'Brian says one of the first things the school did in the rebuilding process was reconstruct the football field and senior Drew Lann says over the past couple of years, Football has helped keep the town united.

"Football was one of the things I guess you could say held it together. Because when you think of Friday Nights, you think about Smithville and the whole town being at the game," said Lann.

The town may have been leveled by an E-F5 tornado but the strength of its citizens rages on and they hold fast to the faith that they have in one another and they have confidence that Smithville will be stronger and better in spite of the adversity they have endured.
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