Southaven industrial area back to normal following last year's tornadoes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Chip Washington

Southaven industrial area back to normal following last year's tornadoes

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Life has returned to normal for the industrial business community of Southaven, but the events of last February are not far from the minds of those who experienced that very frightening night.

The weather was nice on Thursday and for people in Southaven it was business as usual.

One year ago today, things were much different as a tornado ripped through the area.

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis said, "Drove up underneath the interstate, made a turn in my vehicle, noticed a funnel cloud passing over, debris flying.  I turned and went to Walgreen's, got there quickly enough.  It was quite a traumatic experience to see what happened in a short period of time."

Much of the damage was felt in the industrial park community just off of Stateline Road near Airways when at least three warehouses were wiped out.

David Watson is the general manager of Premier Services who owns Cooper Lighting which suffered serious damage.

He said it was a night he won't soon forget.

Watson said, "We did have everyone up front and undercover.  No one got hurt nor injured, which I can say we were very fortunate compared to some of the other facilities around the area."

Davis says that all the businesses that were damaged are back up and running.

Cooper Lighting has 50 employees and moved back into their building in mid January.

Watson said emergency procedures helped keep employees safe.

Watson said, "No one's gonna forget it after being through it once."

Davis said the city has emergency contingency plans in effect for events such as last year's devastating tornado, but in the end, he said you can replace brick and mortar but you can't replace life.


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