Can a Small, Poor Mississippi Town Rebuild After a Devastating Tornado? Leaders Vow It Will, Despite the Odds

Amid the wreckage in a small Mississippi town devastated by a deadly tornado, many local officials have vowed to rebuild. But the road to recovery in Rolling Fork is likely to be longer and filled with more pitfalls than many could have imagined.

At least 13 people were killed in Rolling Fork when a powerful twister cut through the economically depressed town of about 2,000 on Friday night. Restaurants, a lumber company, and a furniture store, were leveled, along with many of town’s homes. The tornado cut across 170 miles, reaching into Alabama as well, ultimately causing a total of 26 deaths in the two states. But Rolling Fork was the town hit hardest.

“It’s tragic and seemingly random,” says Tom Larsen, senior director at CoreLogic, specializing in natural risks. “It’s the rare and tragic times when we see [a tornado] hit a community.”



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