Friday, December 13 2013 7:04 AM EST2013-12-13 12:04:33 GMT
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CLINTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Residents in Clinton have made a complete turnaround after a devastating tornado struck their town one year and a day ago.
The twister crossed I-20 in Clinton, going on to leave a path of destruction through several neighborhoods. The F-3 tornado damaged 250 homes, fifty of those had major damage.
Today the streets are clear of debris, destroyed homes, rebuilt.
"In a years tome we've made a lot of progress," says Clinton Mayor Rosemary Aultman.
Mayor Aultman says it was a joint recovery effort that included a resilient community, faith based volunteers and charitable organizations, removing almost all visible signs of the destruction, that took homes but not lives.
Mayor Aultman says, "The thing that came out of it the most for us is that our disaster plan did work, and it's important to have a plan and everybody knows what their responsibility is."
Richard Mort of the Lakeside subdivision rode out the twister with his wife Sharon in their home, which is made mostly of steel. They were lucky only minor damage.
"We kept hearing thump, thump, we come out here it was a wood lot. We expected it to last longer, it was about 10 seconds," says Mort.
It was an event that changed not only the landscape, but the lives of dozens of families, who say they're just happy to have survived it.
"The devastation it did in the middle, the lord was just taking care of us," says Mayor Aultman.
Only two of the demolished homes in Clinton were not rebuilt.