OUR OPINION: Vicksburg should stand with Quad-State Tornado victims

Published 8:00 am Friday, December 17, 2021

The tornado that struck parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky, now known as the “Quad-State Tornado,” last Friday was without a doubt a horrific event, forever changing the lives of those who were hardest hit.

While it was nowhere near the size of last Friday’s tornado, we can’t help but think of a very famous tornado that struck our fair town in December 1953. The violent storm killed dozens of citizens and destroyed just as many buildings, if not more.

The city, much like the sleepy town of Mayfield, Ky. or Monette, Ark., was left in the dark, with no communication and for a sliver of a moment, no hope.

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As those who lived through it might remember, and as is evident today, Vicksburg still feels the effects of the 1953 tornado. The downtown skyline, the business landscape and the lives of our friends and neighbors were forever altered.

Because our city knows full well the devastation of an unprecedented tornado, it’s up to us to join the throngs of people supporting those affected by the Quad-State Tornado. As the death total keeps climbing, more than 70 people lost their lives, including children as young as two months old.

Right here at Christmastime, people are struggling to find even the most basic resources. Jobs are on hold at the very least, if one’s place of work is still standing. Church buildings have been reduced to mere toothpicks.

Consider asking your Sunday School class, your coworkers, your civic organizations or simply your family to come together and support those affected by the Quad-State Tornado.

In Kentucky, the hardest-hit area, the Bowling Green Fire Department is asking those who can help to message them on Facebook with their name, contact information and the type of assistance they can provide. The Kentucky Baptist Convention is actively raising funds to help its mission teams in the area.

The Kentucky State Police in Mayfield, Ky., are asking interested volunteers to call 270-331-1979.

The American Red Cross is also seeking donations to be used across the four states hit by the tornado. Text the word TORNADO to 9-0-9-9-9. The text message will send a quick $10 donation. Other donations can be made by calling 800-733-2767 or visiting redcross.org online.

If you don’t have the means to help the cause physically or financially, lift these people up in prayer. Pray for those lying in makeshift hospital beds, battered and beaten in the storm. Pray for the parents, the siblings who now have to find a way to go on without their little sister. Pray for the first responders and the volunteers, that God will guide their steps through the rubble and recovery.

We know a little about the devastation a tornado can cause — let’s show those who were hit last week that there is someone out there who cares.