Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Sid Salter: Devastated Communities Need Help, Supplies

 As a believer, I can attest to the absolute power of prayers and positive thoughts to affect comfort, help and outcomes. I respect the power of prayer – and I have been the direct beneficiary of the prayers of others in my own life.

But in Rolling Fork, Silver City, Amory, the Summerfield community in Carroll County and other Mississippi communities this week, those prayers need to be accompanied by disaster relief funds, bottled water, building supplies, and people with chain saws and heavy equipment and people to operate them.

The state’s governmental leadership – including Republicans and Democrats alike – have engaged from the White House to what’s left of Rolling Fork and Sharkey County’s local governments to get help organized and deployed. Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is leading a host of agencies in response.

Mississippi’s faith-based community and the private sector are likewise engaged. From organizations like the Mississippi Farm Bureau and the state’s Rotary International clubs, people are working. But in Rolling Fork and Silver City, where the devastation is so pervasive, the need is great and the road to normalcy is long.

My late mother was a graduate of Silver City High School in the final year of the Great Depression. There were 12 students in that class – and all 12 survived the Great Flood of 1927. That’s the maddening thing about Mississippi – we are really, really good at navigating natural disasters because as a state we’ve endured so many of them.

As a child, she lived five miles south of Silver City in the Humphreys County hamlet of Midnight. In that cataclysmic flood, Midnight was just one tiny community in the confluence of the Sunflower River, Yazoo River and Big Black River sub-basins that met in the 1927 flood.

Mississippi’s status as a part of the nation’s “Tornado Alley” is legendary, and few towns in Mississippi haven’t had their day in the barrel. The mileposts on that lonely road read Smithville, Water Valley, Candlestick Park, Vicksburg, Inverness, Natchez, Tupelo, Yazoo City, and Louisville – and so many, many more. –

As a young reporter in my hometown of Philadelphia, I remember the agonizing search for a little girl taken by a tornado on April 2, 1982, near the Neshoba County Fairgrounds – a search that ended in misery for her family. Three people died that day and 40 were injured across Leake, Neshoba and Kemper counties.

If tornadoes aren’t frightening enough, Mississippi has also been home to two of the most severe and most costly hurricanes in U.S. history in Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Camille in 1969. I covered the aftermath of Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and it was – to say the least – a profound experience.

After the storms, after the disasters, after poverty and insularity and isolation do their work, there is where Mississippi and Mississippians often shine brightest. As history reflects, Mississippians are capable – as are our neighbors across the country – of great violence and cruelty.

But we also are capable of and demonstrative of a great capacity for kindness, generosity and service to neighbors and strangers alike. The miseries we have historically shared – meteorological, sociological or economic – have left us as the most generous and giving people in America on a per-capita basis.

As previously noted, Mississippi churches and charitable groups step aggressively into the breach of disasters like the tornadoes that pounded Mississippi this week. These inexplicable disasters produce acts of kindness and investments in recovery that often put government relief efforts to shame. Here’s hoping that happens in this instance.

It’s important to note that the March 24 storms slammed some of the poorest people in Mississippi, those least able to help themselves in the wake of such loss and devastation. In Sharkey and Humphreys counties, at least one-third of the populace lives in poverty according to Census data.

The fastest way for individuals to help is by contacting the Red Cross ( ), the Salvation Army ( or by texting MSTORNADOES to 51555), or the Miss. Emergency Management Agency (

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

I would very much like to see a daily report from MEMA on activities, similar to what was provided during the water plant takeover.

If we can throw millions at that avoidable fiasco, we should be moving heaven and earth to help those affected by the storms!

Twitter Yappy Dog said...

I would very much like to see a daily report from MEMA on activities ...

You obviously aren't looking very hard as MEMA pub'd their 5th report on the disaster yesterday.

Anonymous said...

KF, something very strange is going on with this response. We in the National Guard cannot figure out why we have not been activated in any capacity to assist. We have army military police and engineer composite teams that respond to just about every light tropical storm, but for this we have received no orders to mobilize. In fact, the unit in Amory was on a drill status the Saturday and Sunday after the tornado and their commander was told to only take care of unit facility and equipment at the destroyed armory and to stand down from assisting the people of Amory.

I have no idea what is going on between Benny Thompson, Tate Reeves, Mcranny (MEMA director), county officials and our Adjutant General, but not having a guard presence in some capacity is extremely concerning.

Anonymous said...


Please post a link where MEMA posts operational summaries showing ESF functions, tasks completed, goals to be achieved in the next 24 hours, and unmet needs.

Like this:

Anonymous said...

Wannabes Edward Snowden @12:13
You should probably keep your mouth shut.
Clearly this is need-to-know.
And TPTB determined that you don’t need to know.

Anonymous said...

@12:13 PM, how is it "extremely concerning"? Share some specifics. Who is the "we" you represent?

Anonymous said...

Tornado Damage Preventive Measures To Consider:

1. Cut/Trim trees near house (trimmed trees catch less wind);
2. Reinforce an interior room for a wind/uplift resistant safe space;
3. Install an underground Storm Shelter.

I have only done #1, will do #2 this summer.

Anonymous said...

12:31 - in instances such as this, the local NG unit (Amory) is not called out as the members are probably dealing with issues at their own homes. In any instance, the NG is not activated unless it is requested by MEMA. Evidently MEMA does not feel the NG is needed at this time.

Anonymous said...

The word on the darkweb is that this tornado spread some hot ☢️ debris in its path. There is hot metal everywhere. Not sure if it is just DU or if it’s something worse. But they can see it on satellite. They are trying to keep this shit under wraps. It’s worse than the toxic train because this is the ionizing stuff. Tissue destruction.

Anonymous said...

12:13, please note that the National Guard is the most costly asset when it comes to disaster response and that's is just for personnel cost. By the time you throw in the cost of vehicle use and damage repair, the cost goes out of sight. Also, the guard is not a quick response force for this type event. If not a drill week end, your unit members are spread all over the state and also out of state, so response time is slow.

Also you cannot use the guard to haul or move any debris to certified dump sites, as it puts them in direct competition with commercial contractors due to federal law. Also, the guard isn't trained in search and rescue for disaster response.

You brought up the Guard being used during hurricanes. Yeas they are, they're used prior to land fall for the door knock mission to warn people to leave the area and prior to land fall using the high body vehicles to get individuals caught by fast rising water. As the danger level rises, it gets to a point where they're stood down till storm blows over.

Unless its a Katrina type event, then they're usually released by second day of storm. There is no collusion by any of the people you named. You just don't know all the facts & guidelines that apply to situations like this.

Anonymous said...

Guard is used after tornados too.
Folks are talking bout contractors being turned away b/c Bennie's folks told em thsy werent needed

Anonymous said...

@4:18 - That "hot metal" is melted tin foil hats worn by people who research and believe anything on the "dark web".

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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