Cleanup efforts are continuing as Iuka and the surrounding area recover from a pair of tornadoes that slammed through the area Saturday evening.
“It’s just going to be a slow process moving forward,” said Tishomingo County Emergency Management Director Payton Berklite.
All roads are open in the town and power has been restored to all but around a dozen homes which sustained damage to their electrical systems.
The National Weather Service determined two tornadoes hit the area, an EF1 and an EF0. The first hit around 6:09 p.m. Saturday beginning 2.5 miles north-northwest of Iuka and ended at 6:17 p.m. 0.8 miles southeast of Iuka with a total path of 3.5 miles and peak winds of 100 to 105 mph. The second, with peak winds of 70 mph, started at 6:22 p.m. and ended at 6:23 p.m., with a path length of 0.5 miles. It damaged trees along and near County Road 247 southeast of Iuka.
Berklite said a total of 75 homes and businesses were affected by the storm with the amount of damage ranging from around five homes destroyed and other structures with varying levels of damage.
She said it’s been a real community effort as city workers, county supervisor crews and volunteers have helped clean up and remove debris. She expects it to take quite a while longer to get everything cleared away, especially with the need for heavy equipment to remove the many extremely large old trees that were toppled by the winds.
Iuka Baptist Church has served as a central location to feed residents and workers with numerous churches, the Tishomingo County Baptist Association, and other businesses joining in the effort. Berklite said the American Red Cross has also been in the county helping connect residents with assistance.
“Everyone’s really come together,” she said.
The emergency director said from this point it’s just going to take time to get everything cleared away and back to normal and they’re extremely appreciative of everyone who joined in the effort.