Kilmichael Tornado: One Year Later

When a tornado swept through the area of Kilmichael, it left the area without power, some with no beds to sleep im and others without a home.

Posted: Apr 30, 2018 10:10 PM
Updated: Apr 30, 2018 11:13 PM

KILMICHAEL, Miss. (WTVA) - When a tornado swept through the area of Kilmichael, it left the area without power, some with no beds to sleep in and others without a home.

Now a year later, the impact is still felt for some, while many want the area to be prepared for another severe storm season.

"We got in the home and we could hear so much falling," recalled Dannie Witty. "I said, 'Baby, let's get in the bathroom.'"

The longtime resident saw the worst of the strong tornado that hit her town with speeds up to 110 mph.

"So we went in the bathroom and we could hear the backdoor slamming. So we decided we'd come out."

They discovered just next door, her niece's family was inside sleeping when a tree pummeled into their home.

They said, "Auntie, let us in. We've lost our house."

When they came out the next day, what they saw was unrecognizable. Their home covered with a tree and debris.

After months of clean-up, like so many other yards, the houses that stood for decades - now gone.

"Getting limbs off the house and raking up limbs," Witty said. "We thought about that it could have been some of our lives but the Lord spared us through it all."

Witty's family was just one of many hit hard by the tornado that spanned five miles long. It left the town without power for days.

"It's been a slow, arduous process because we didn't have a clear 501(C)3," explained Mayor Billy Howell.

That transition was one Nancy Robinson saw in front of her yard as she witnessed her neighbor lose their home.

"I went to the backdoor, looked out and saw those trees," Robinson shared. "I just broke down and started crying because I was wondering why I was still here."

In town, most of the clean-up has been done. Yet, trees are still down in the county, according to EMA Director Allan Pratt.

He says a long term recovery committee is working to help residents rebuild.

Even though the town is almost back to normal, recovering for Witty has left an impact even a year after the tornado.

"It left, I'd say a lonely spirit, because two neighbors are gone," she said. "It left us alive."

The work still continues in some parts of Montgomery County. Meanwhile, residents in "The Town That Cares" hope the severity of the 2017 storm does not repeat itself in the future.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 503322

Reported Deaths: 10057
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34400541
DeSoto32318411
Hinds32074631
Jackson24551386
Rankin22103391
Lee15657235
Madison14662281
Jones13894243
Forrest13506253
Lauderdale12037318
Lowndes11091192
Lamar10531138
Pearl River9557238
Lafayette8581140
Hancock7751130
Washington7458161
Oktibbeha7152133
Monroe6796178
Warren6752176
Pontotoc6736104
Neshoba6656206
Panola6572131
Marshall6494135
Bolivar6331150
Union607794
Pike5849154
Alcorn5691102
Lincoln5468135
George502979
Scott474198
Tippah472481
Prentiss471582
Leflore4676144
Itawamba4651105
Tate4632111
Adams4617120
Copiah450092
Simpson4458116
Yazoo445388
Wayne440772
Covington429894
Sunflower4246105
Marion4236108
Coahoma4178108
Leake409888
Newton383179
Grenada3731108
Tishomingo361592
Stone360664
Jasper336565
Attala335290
Winston315391
Clay309077
Chickasaw302367
Clarke295894
Calhoun279947
Holmes268788
Smith266550
Yalobusha237247
Tallahatchie228752
Greene220649
Walthall219364
Lawrence213640
Perry206456
Amite206056
Webster203446
Noxubee186940
Montgomery179757
Jefferson Davis172243
Carroll169639
Tunica160139
Benton149439
Kemper142141
Choctaw134627
Claiborne132838
Humphreys129738
Franklin120728
Quitman106828
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson95934
Sharkey64220
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 821255

Reported Deaths: 15424
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1149051930
Mobile726651340
Madison52400699
Shelby37685350
Baldwin37285552
Tuscaloosa35147613
Montgomery34130740
Lee23556246
Calhoun22255490
Morgan21037378
Etowah19844500
Marshall18390304
Houston17406412
St. Clair16091339
Cullman15493293
Limestone15402199
Elmore15292286
Lauderdale14366295
Talladega13870283
DeKalb12670261
Walker11255370
Blount10227176
Autauga10061148
Jackson9909185
Coffee9215191
Dale8912186
Colbert8907201
Tallapoosa7103198
Escambia6782134
Covington6724183
Chilton6658162
Russell637659
Franklin5992105
Chambers5615142
Marion5016127
Dallas5013202
Pike4799106
Clarke477284
Geneva4577127
Winston4538103
Lawrence4352117
Bibb425686
Barbour358376
Marengo338390
Monroe332064
Randolph330264
Butler328596
Pickens317384
Henry313166
Hale311988
Cherokee303260
Fayette294580
Washington251651
Cleburne247960
Clay245568
Crenshaw245475
Macon235563
Lamar225747
Conecuh186654
Coosa180940
Lowndes175764
Wilcox169139
Bullock151844
Perry139240
Sumter133338
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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High pressure leaves our area overnight and allows room for some low pressure and a cold front to move into our area on Wednesday. This will bring some good chances for some rain and isolated thunderstorms into our area during later portions of our Wednesday.
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