Nightly News | May 01, 2011
>> alabama to neighboring mississippi now. one small town especially hard hit by a tornado that roared through smithville with winds estimated at more than 200 miles an hour. nbc's ron mott is there tonight.
>> reporter: today in smithville, where the dearly departed were mourned, the faithful gave prayer. out in the open next to rubble under a fireworks tent. emotions raw, exploding into tears for what was lost here including 15 lives, 150 businesses and homes and all but one house of worship.
>> this is the church of god right here. this over here is a building.
>> reporter: the pastor called his sunday sermon filling your hope chest. encouragie iing the congregation to lean on each other. while so many in this town of 900 are hurting, that didn't stop them and scores of volunteers from resuming the backbreaking task of picking up the pieces . with tales of survival spreading from one debris field to the next. like this 77-year-olds. i don't know how you made it out.
>> i don't either.
>> reporter: he doesn't plan to rebuild. long stretches of power lines are simply gone. though crews have begun setting new poles. tomorrow, however, one sign of normalcy returns with the school heavily damaged. students will head back to class, elsewhere. welcome news, says teacher nora cole, who cried under that fireworks tent about wednesday's tornado, her faith solidly intact.
>> it didn't shake my faith at all. we'll come through it.
>> reporter: one of the speakers at this morning's church service echoed that very sentiment saying, we will come through this but adding, we'll never get over it. lester?