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1 year later: Rebuilding from devastating Mississippi storms

In this April 22, 2015 photograph, a car drives past the remains of trees that also bordered a trailer park and residential houses that were all destroyed by a tornado a year earlier, in Louisville, Miss. Several people were also killed in that area. Residents will mark the first anniversary, on Tuesday, April 28, of the 23-tornado outbreak that devastated Winston County. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

In this April 22, 2015 photograph, a car drives past the remains of trees that also bordered a trailer park and residential houses that were all destroyed by a tornado a year earlier, in Louisville, Miss. Several people were also killed in that area. Residents will mark the first anniversary, on Tuesday, April 28, of the 23-tornado outbreak that devastated Winston County. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

LOUISVILLE — One year ago, an outbreak of 23 tornados devastated parts of Mississippi, killing 14 people and destroying hundreds of buildings.

In Tupelo, a storm hit hard in neighborhoods and a commercial district. But the most powerful twister was in less-populous Winston County. There, a storm with winds reaching an estimated 185 mph ripped diagonally across the county on April 28, 2014.

The storm killed 10 people in Louisville and surrounding areas, destroying 391 buildings. Four others died in traffic accidents elsewhere.

Today, Louisville continues to rebuild. A new plywood mill is going up, and there are plans for a replacement for Winston County Hospital.

Residents also are trying to get their lives back in order. Emily Eaves was at home when the tornado hit and damaged the roof, causing water damage as it destroyed houses across the street.

Eaves repaired her home and is selling it. She’s buying a rebuilt home across the street and plans to renovate a third house nearby.

On Tuesday, the community pauses to remember those it lost. Gov. Phil Bryant and community leaders are dedicating a memorial that includes 10 trees, granite benches, and a marker with the names of victims. A sunflower garden is planned in memory of Tyler Tucker, the youngest victim of the storm. He was found three days later, blown more than 600 yards from his home. His parents, Terri Tucker and Shawn Fowler, also died.

 

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