A wake up call: Mississippi community comes together to help widow after Thursday’s severe weather

Published 6:56 am Friday, February 17, 2023

Deloris Furr said she felt alone when severe storms rolled through the Little Bahalia community near Brookhaven Thursday morning. She had moved a bookcase from an office to her living room and was working on moving a seat cushion when she heard the sound of hail hitting her roof.

She looked out her front window and saw carnage. A metal roofing to her carport and patio roof covered her SUV. She said her neighbor told her he saw rotation and then what looked like a bomb exploding as debris from her home’s siding and carport went flying everywhere. It was about 11:10 a.m. when it hit, she called her neighbor around 11:17 a.m.

Behind her home, a tree lay broken with the aluminum of a roof lodged in its limbs. Streams of water cut through the yard and her pond grew closer to overflowing. She is a widow and called numerous people but no one came at first. Then volunteers from the Baptist Association, Chris Reid with Lincoln County EMA, Sheriff Steve Rushing and deacons from Little Bahala Baptist Church filled her driveway off of Little Bahalia Road.

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“No one was there and then God sent everyone. It touched me,” Furr said. “My church is just down the road. A lot of my church members came from Little Bahala. The members and deacons were here. There were so many people. I went from no one to just seeing God work.”

Furr was not injured but said the Morton Family on Mound Road had lost their entire home. The trailer had been lifted off its trailer pad and debris could be found in the cow pasture next to the home and in the front lawn of the church. There were no reported injuries on Mound Road.

Furr said the event seemed to come out of nowhere. While Lincoln County was under a tornado watch, there were no warnings or special weather statements issued for the area. She had The Price is Right on the TV when the storm hit.

Her dog and three of her cats are accounted for. She said she believes her other two cats are somewhere hiding in the house. All were understandably shaken up by the event.

“It makes you think about your priorities and how blessed you are. It took my carport but took their home. My heart goes out to them,” Furr said. “You count your blessings. I could have lost everything and my life but God was with us even in the storm. It showed me how you can be at a low and the next moment he sends all of these people. They showed up. Our community is rebuilding. We have a new pastor at church. I think it was a wakeup call for all of us. I saw his hand working today.”

NWS Jackson has not confirmed if the severe weather was a tornado.