Family, neighbors pitch in to help clean up woman’s destroyed home

Family, neighbors pitch in to help clean up woman’s destroyed home
Family, neighbors pitch in to help clean up woman’s destroyed home (Source: WMC Action News 5)

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Debris, downed trees and tree limbs are being picked up in the Lewisburg area as many of the homes have been destroyed.

One family told WMC Action News 5 they feel lucky that their 89-year-old grandmother, who lives alone, survived after she took a direct hit from what is believed to be a tornado. Her kitchen had collapsed and now her home is unlivable.

Louella McElroy's home will never be the same. The 89-year-old woman has lived outside Olive Branch since she was a teenager.

Family, neighbors pitch in to help clean up woman’s destroyed home

Early Saturday morning, she said she was sitting on her bed, awakened by the storm, when her roof was ripped off and collapsed in the kitchen feet away.

"It thundered, and the roof blew off the house. It sounded like a big train,” said McElroy.

The good news is her neighbors, family and friends have stepped up. Those who care about McElroy, used axes, heavy machinery, and even their bare hands to help clean up.

"The Mid-South is one big community. It’s a big city, but it really is one big community. People helping out, I don’t know a ton of these people. I don’t know if they knew her. But it’s helping when the time is needed,” said Cody Gross, McElroy’s great-nephew.

With the support of her community and family, Louella says she’ll get through this tough time.

"Oh, it’s wonderful. Wonderful. I’ve got a lot of good friends and neighbors,” said McElroy.

She says despite the family home destroyed, she’s been given hope by her community.

“I’ve been here long enough. I’ve got a lot of good friends," said McElroy.

“It’s a testament to one, the family and just the community. People are kind. At the heart of it, people are kind," said Gross.

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