Picture travels miles after 2019 tornado; social media post looks to reunite it with owner

After picture travels during tornado, social media posts looks to reunite it with owner

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - If a broken piece of an old grandfather clock could tell the Rollins family anything, it might be that time can mean healing.

“The things that we lost, they’re possessions,” Lynn Rollins said. “My daughter and I, we’re still alive.”

Dec. 16, 2019, for Rollins, looked dim. A tornado picked up her home and left an empty space behind. One piece of wood is just big enough for Rollins to remember it was part of a jewelry armoire that kept family possessions safe. A couch cushion from her previous home is across the street.

A tornado that ripped through a portion of Liberty, Miss. in December of 2019 left a jewelry armoire in pieces.
A tornado that ripped through a portion of Liberty, Miss. in December of 2019 left a jewelry armoire in pieces. (Source: WAFB)

Rollins says when she and her family left home that day, the weather was fine.

“Never believed a tornado would come,” she said.

But when they returned, she says they could hardly find anything remaining of their home.

“It’s heartbreaking when you look and see all the damage by a tornado,” Rollins said.

Rollins’ life is scattered across several acres.

“Every time I walk out here, I see pieces of what our life was," she said.

But two months later, she’s pulling it together.

“Everything was completely destroyed,” Rollins said.

During WAFB’s interview with Rollins, she actually found a piece of an earring that belonged to her grandmother, and a ring. Shortly after the storm during the cleanup, she says the found a few pictures.

“But they were pretty much ruined," she recalled.

Among the missing photos was an old portrait of her son and his future wife that was stripped from the wall by the storm.

A photograph of Lynn Rollins’ son and his future wife traveled almost 100 miles from Libery, Miss. to a pond between D’Lo and Pinola, Miss.
A photograph of Lynn Rollins’ son and his future wife traveled almost 100 miles from Libery, Miss. to a pond between D’Lo and Pinola, Miss. (Source: Lynn Rollins)

”It was on the wall in the living room,” Rollins said.

But a simple Facebook post from a stranger in Pinola, Miss. gave her hope.

“A lady that found the picture in her pond over 100 miles away posted it on Facebook wanting to know who it was in the picture," she said.

Her daughter-in-law found the post. Now, Rollins and her family are working to get the picture back.

The crazy part of this story is the day the tornado hit. Before Rollins could get home to survey the damage, she got a text from another person she didn’t know.

“I received a text message from someone around Crystal Springs asking if we were okay, that a picture floated out of the school onto his hayfield,” she said.

Acres of the Rollins' family land is covered in debris from the tornado in December of 2019.
Acres of the Rollins' family land is covered in debris from the tornado in December of 2019. (Source: WAFB)

Rollins says it’s vulnerable and unsettling when your life is ripped apart, but time has somehow made it bearable.

”We never give up hope. We’re always looking," Rollins said.

Family members are working to get both pictures back. The Rollins family moved into their new home Friday, Jan. 31.

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