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Mental scars remain for one tornado survivor

In this WTVA special report, Emma Packard sat down with a tornado survivor.

Posted: May 23, 2018 10:05 PM
Updated: May 24, 2018 10:11 AM

MONTPELIER, Miss. (WTVA) - In the last 10 years, one of every three EF-5 tornadoes struck in Mississippi or Alabama, so no one can argue our region is very familiar with the devastation.

"It sounds like a train coming through," said Tonya Wooten.

She remembers it clear. 

"It was like sucking air through the windows," she continued.

April 27, 2011 - the night an EF-3 tornado hit Montpelier in Clay County.

"You could hear trees cracking and popping."

And the next morning, devastation was left behind.

"There were numerous, numerous trees down. There were trees on my brother's vehicles. There were like three vehicles it took out," Wooten said.

And even though her family was okay, the experience left her emotionally scarred.

"To see something come in and in just a matter of seconds, take half of it away - things that you can't replace, some things you can replace. I'm just thankful they made it through it."

Those scars still haunt her and her family to this day.

"You're afraid it's going to happen again," she said. 

She says lightning and thunder terrifies her when a simple thunderstorm comes through.


April Kitchens is a counselor at the North Mississippi Medical Center Behavioral Health Center. She says this is a normal symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder with tornado survivors.

"One thing that you do see are people isolating themselves," Kitchens said. "People becoming extremely fearful whenever there's just simply a rain cloud."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 68293

Reported Deaths: 1944
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5700119
DeSoto371031
Harrison260136
Madison245569
Jackson231444
Rankin230735
Jones193159
Forrest182656
Washington170142
Lee152142
Lauderdale141592
Neshoba128892
Lamar123115
Bolivar113635
Oktibbeha113339
Warren112535
Lowndes109239
Panola106816
Sunflower105625
Scott101120
Lafayette98719
Copiah96228
Leflore94966
Pike94037
Holmes91049
Grenada85123
Pontotoc8429
Yazoo84113
Lincoln83442
Monroe82155
Simpson80631
Leake79526
Coahoma78113
Wayne78021
Tate74330
Marshall7129
Marion68420
Union66216
Adams63225
Winston62916
Covington62214
George5956
Pearl River55940
Newton54511
Tallahatchie54111
Attala52725
Walthall50221
Chickasaw47619
Noxubee46112
Tishomingo4377
Alcorn4355
Calhoun4259
Prentiss42310
Claiborne40914
Smith40613
Hancock40214
Clay40114
Jasper3949
Itawamba38710
Tippah37414
Tunica3587
Clarke33626
Montgomery3295
Lawrence3238
Yalobusha31610
Humphreys29712
Quitman2691
Carroll26111
Greene25612
Perry2428
Amite2376
Webster23712
Kemper23314
Jefferson Davis2336
Wilkinson21513
Stone2115
Sharkey2045
Jefferson1957
Benton1451
Choctaw1354
Franklin1312
Issaquena272
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 100801

Reported Deaths: 1814
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13366246
Mobile10581212
Montgomery6825151
Madison546934
Tuscaloosa426979
Unassigned392566
Baldwin367029
Shelby333437
Marshall319438
Lee270847
Morgan241819
Etowah218034
DeKalb183414
Calhoun181918
Elmore176039
Walker154465
Houston142813
Russell13892
St. Clair136320
Limestone135913
Dallas133624
Franklin129722
Cullman123012
Colbert121517
Lauderdale119020
Autauga116222
Escambia108817
Talladega105414
Jackson10264
Tallapoosa87579
Chambers84738
Dale84329
Clarke82610
Chilton8189
Blount8165
Butler77036
Coffee7656
Covington74021
Pike7137
Marion58226
Barbour5796
Lowndes57124
Marengo56616
Hale48526
Bullock48111
Winston45711
Perry4454
Bibb4445
Washington44412
Wilcox43410
Monroe4236
Pickens4089
Randolph40211
Conecuh39310
Sumter36618
Lawrence3542
Macon33914
Crenshaw3326
Choctaw28912
Cherokee2768
Clay2675
Geneva2652
Henry2643
Greene25211
Lamar2302
Fayette2235
Cleburne1291
Coosa1053
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