DeSoto County using new technology to assess tornado damage

New technology tracks severe weather damage in DeSoto County

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Two tornadoes that tore through north Mississippi left behind a path of destruction and nearly $14 million in damage to hundreds of homes.

On Monday morning, there were many damaged homes, downed trees and crews out assessing what’s left just days after two tornadoes ripped through DeSoto County.

Residents of DeSoto County say they can still hear the roar of the tornado

”We saw people where they lost half of the top of their houses. Some of them it’s all gone and trees everywhere,” said resident Tammy Smith.

As residents pick up the pieces, city and county officials have two immediate priorities: Damage assessment and debris management.

EMS officials focused on debris clean up

“Damage assessment are made up of volunteers from our emergency management reserves, our volunteer firefighters and just everyday people that just want to help,” said DeSoto County Emergency Management Deputy Director Josh Harper.

This new system called Crisis Track allows assessment crews to update information in real time while they're in the field.

The software allows pictures of damaged homes to be uploaded. It even estimates how much the damage caused in a dollar amount.

"We have several crews in what we call the west sector path, which is just down there just south of Hernando, and then we have crews in what we call the east sector path over there in the Lewisburg area,” said Harper.

Heavy storm damage in Olive Branch

Officials are asking for the public’s help to get things cleaned up as quickly as possibly. They estimate it could take days if not weeks to get everything cleared.

"There’s household appliances, there’s construction debris, there’s vegetative debris, there’s what we call household hazardous waste like electronics. If they can separate those things for us and put them out on the curb it keeps the county from having to do it later,” said Harper.

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