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Mississippi tornado damage offers perspective

It’s always a tragedy when any community is struck by severe weather.

It just seems doubly tragic when a town is severely damaged by Mother Nature during the holiday season.

That was what happened to our friends to the north of us when Columbia, Miss., was struck by what was described by Mississippi Emergency Management Agency officials as an F3 tornado two days before Christmas.

It’s a reminder that severe weather can strike at a moment’s notice and disrupt our lives forever. Two people in Marion County and two others in Jones County were killed as a result of the storm. Sixty people were also injured.

On Friday, MEMA compiled an early list of damage to homes and businesses in a three-county area. The storm also affected parts of Lamar County. In all, 241 total homes and 77 businesses were affected by the storm.

In Marion County, where Columbia is located, MEMA said 108 homes and 43 businesses were either destroyed or suffered major damage. That is a terrific hit to a small town’s economy. A lot of the damage in the town was on U.S. highway 98, which is a major thoroughfare and has some of the town’s major businesses.

In Jones County, 12 homes and one business were either destroyed or suffered major damage.

Folks in Washington Parish definitely feel for our neighbors. We know first hand the wrath that Mother Nature can bring.

Let’s all pray for our South Mississippi neighbors while remaining thankful that Washington Parish was spared this time. Any loss of life is unfortunate, but let’s give thanks the tornado didn’t cause any more death and destruction than what it did.