DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - One week ago, dozens of Mid-Southerners were looking for a new place to sleep as homes were destroyed across DeSoto County by storms and tornadoes. Now residents are taking the first steps to moving past the devastation.
It’s an eerie sight on Allison Road in DeSoto County, one week after the neighborhood took a direct hit from a tornado.
All the street lights are out and it’s completely dark, except for a fire -- the result of a hard day’s work from workers with L&T Construction. They gathered up all the down trees, put them in a pile and started a fire to burn them away.
“It’s just complete devastation, but we have a resilient community,” said Lee Smart who lost two family homes in tornado.
That resolve is stronger on Allison Road, with neighbors helping each other push through the aftermath of a devastating tornado.
“Everybody’s looking to help,” said Smart.
Saturday was another emotional day for Lee Smart -- one week after a direct hit from an EF-2 tornado.
What was left of his family’s home for the past 30 years was torn down, but Smart still remains hopeful.
“We’re very blessed. I used that word a lot but we are,” said Smart.
Fifteen employees from L&T Construction, whose owner is friends with Smart, came to help with the dozens of downed trees and his two destroyed family homes.
“These are friends of ours that we know they lost everything, and we wanted to give them a helping hand so we came out early this morning with excavators and skid steers and dumpsters,” said Levy Harris, owner of L&T Construction.
All this work, with expensive heavy machinery, is free of charge.
Helping people on Allison Road won't stop with the Smart's homes for L&T Construction.
“They’re several more that have asked, we’re going to help them while we’re here,” said Harris.
For Smart, as the debris from his home burns, and the last brick falls, he thinks positively about what the future holds.
“We’re tearing down the past, but looking to the future. I mean we’re going to get these torn down, we’re going to get it cleaned up, we’re going to go look at some house plans and we’re going build two houses back,” said Smart.
Smart says it will take many months for his life to get back to normal, but he is excited to rebuild in his own community.