SMITHVILLE — Cellular South has deployed a temporary mobile broadband cell site to Smithville after a devastating tornado killed 13 people, injured more than 40 others and destroyed most of the buildings in the small, rural town in Monroe County.
The temporary cell site will expand capacity and support the voice and high-speed data communication needs of residents, businesses and local and state disaster recovery teams who are working on clean up, damage assessments and recovery efforts in one of the hardest-hit areas of the Magnolia state, according to Trey Howard, director of network operations for Cellular South.
Howard said the company also is dispatching a team with wireless phone charging equipment, replacement batteries, charging cords, wireless devices and portable generators to aid with any other communication needs for first responders, disaster response teams and local residents and businesses.
Cellular South is coordinating its response efforts with local and state officials, disaster response agencies, The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross. In addition, company officials are making it easy for customers to help tornado-ravaged victims by sending a text message from their mobile device to support American Red Cross relief efforts.
To donate $10 to the Red Cross relief efforts, customers can type the word “REDCROSS” and send it to 90999 via text message from their mobile devices. A confirmation text response will be sent to each customer to confirm the donation. Customers should reply with “YES” and then reply again with the numeral “1” to designate the donation to the Red Cross relief fund. Standard text messaging rates may apply for some customers.
All of the funds donated will be passed directly to the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to tornado victims. The Red Cross already has opened four shelters in Mississippi for storm victims, including one in Amory at the First Baptist Church. Other shelters are located in West Point, Tunica and Marks.
Cellular South is working with The Salvation Army and Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr. to ship a truckload of toiletries, tarps, bungee cords, flashlights, batteries, clothing, blankets, towels and plastic bags to Smithville residents from a collection drive and company donations. The Salvation Army has established canteens and feeding centers for storm victims in Smithville and in Oxford, Montpelier and at the Coy Methodist Church on Highway 21.
Source: Cellular South