South's Tornado Survivors Count Their Blessings

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WASHINGTON -- Over the past several days more than 110 tornadoes have been sighted, with 50 or more of the twisters sweeping across the South on Saturday alone. Officials say at least 12 people are dead.

Despite those storms having left hundreds homeless and knocked out power grids, some people have miraculous stories of survival.

Tales of Survival

Across the South, survivors are counting their blessings after tornadoes touched down in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

But nowhere was the destruction more palpable than Choctaw County, Miss. where the dead include two children and a baby and where homes, businesses and churches were reduced to rubble.

After clearing space on the foundation, neighbors in Yazoo City, Miss. held an outdoor service where Hillcrest Baptist church once stood.

Tornado survivor Dale Trasher told a miraculous story of survival.

"I was at the front door and I seen the storm coming and the windows shaking , so I ran into sanctuary and got under the Communion Table," Trasher recalled. "About that time I heard the windows coming out and then the building fell around me and the good Lord just put his arms around me and that Communion table and I think that is the only two things that didn't move or destroyed in the church."

Others also prayed for survival when the tornado came tearing through with winds clocked at 160-miles an hour.

"We came in the hallway. We could feel the wind. We went straight here to the bathroom. Just got down and prayed," tornado survivor Morgan Hayden said.

Assessing the Damage

Saturday's twister destroyed at least a hundred homes, leaving hundreds of residents without a roof over their heads.

Gov. Haley Barour grew up in the area and while assessing the damage and the state's response, his emotions broke through.

"We got a lot of resources on the ground, but we need them. It's a really bad tornado," an emotional Barbour said.

The tornado was spawned by violent weather and left a path of destruction running about 170-miles across the state, from its western border to Mississippi's northeastern border with Alabama.

State officials are still trying to assess the scope of the damage.

In the meantime, the Mississippi National Guard has been deployed to prevent looting in a community that has already suffered so much loss.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at