Fundraiser started for Mississippi E-911 dispatcher, family who lost home to recent storms

Published 5:58 am Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Funds are being raised for a Mississippi E-911 dispatcher whose family suffered severe storm damage while she was helping save other lives and property.

A GoFundMe account was started Monday for the Delaughter family in Lawrence County.  By Tuesday at noon the fundraising efforts had reached $2,825 in donations with a goal of $20,000. 

Paige Jackson said her friend Becky Delaughter works as a dispatcher for the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and was working the night the storm hit. Sheriff Ryan Everrett gave Becky a ride home and took her as far down Robert Tynes Road as he could go. 

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“She started walking the rest of the way on foot and was climbing over huge trees to get to Bruce. She had a flashlight in her hand and saw a flashlight coming towards her,” Jackson said. “She told me she saw it was her sweetheart. He was trying to find her.” 

Becky and Bruce Delaughter and their children live on the same property along Robert Tynes Road in the Jayess community. One of Becky and Bruce’s daughters lost her home to substantial storm damage. 

The winds blew the roof off the home, causing heavy rains to flood the second floor and leak down to the first floor. Becky and Bruce’s home suffered a similar fate. While the structure was still up, holes in the roof allowed a pool of water to collect on the floor. 

Water damage was everywhere, and the inside of the home will need to be gutted, Jackson said. She knew something needed to be done to help her friends. 

“I’ve known Becky for years and she and Bruce have always been so good and kind to me. They have been helpful,” Jackson said. “They built a shed in my backyard and they would do anything to help anyone. They need help, every dollar will help them rebuild.” 

The storm damage in southern Lawrence County was astonishing. Jackson said she saw uprooted trees and trees which appeared to have been twisted as she made two trips to deliver supplies to her dear friends. 

TV station WLBT reported the damage was caused by straight line winds but Jackson doesn’t see how that is possible. The National Weather Service in Jackson has not issued a statement about thunderstorm wind swaths or tornado surveys in the area Tuesday afternoon by 1:30 p.m. Jackson said she does not believe it was just straight line winds. 

“He was literally running from the sheetrock that was flying around trying to take cover,” Jackson said. “There was no warning. I wake up around the same time. I turned on the local news and nothing was on. There was no warning.” 

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