Tupelo, Miss. (Daily Journal) – One week after an EF-3 tornado tore through the state and Monroe County, state officials toured the devastation of Amory hours after the state allocated $17 million in relief.
Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann joined state Sen. Hob Bryan in a tour of Amory, visiting Amory High School, City Hall and Piggly Wiggly, where the county set up its control center during recovery efforts. All three sustained significant damage from the tornado that ripped through the city overnight March 24.
“Its just horrible,” Hosemann said, noting that he was proud to see so many American flags flying despite the damage. “The most resilient, patriotic human beings are in our state. We will rebuild. It will be better. We are a neighborhood, the whole state.”
According to data from the National Weather Service in Memphis, the tornado that ripped through the county had a preliminary reading of EF-3, which produced winds peaking at 155 mph on an almost 37-mile stretch.
In the center of Amory, very few buildings were left untouched. Bryan praised Hosemann for his leadership in providing relief to the individuals effected by the storm last week. He also noted the strength of people in the city who came to help their neighbors.
Co-owner of the Piggly Wiggly Brian McGonagill said he and his brother planned to rebuild the grocery store, noting that the this was not their first store to be damaged by a natural disaster. He said when the Smithville tornado of 2011 devastated the town, their store was destroyed. He thanked Bryan for showing support to him and the people of Monroe County.
“It is heartbreaking seeing all your hard work gone,” he said. “It is good to show support. It makes you feel good. (disasters) bring out the best and the worst in people.”
After speaking with city leaders, volunteers and effected individuals, Bryan said he planned to go to Tupelo, where a suspected tornado touched down in east Tupelo, damaging multiple industrial properties including Cooper Tire.