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Residents Pick up Pieces After Storm Ravages Mississippi Town

Image: Severe Weather South
Brian Parker looks up at the damaged roof and ceiling of Woodlawn United Pentecostal Church in Columbia, Miss., Wednesday, Dec. 24. Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Emergency workers continued to evaluate the damage caused by severe storms in Columbia, Mississippi, about 80 miles southeast of the state capital of Jackson on Wednesday. Four people were killed in Marion and Jones counties, including three who died in mobile homes and another was killed at a business.

Some 40 businesses and 30 homes were damaged in Columbia, Gov. Phil Bryant said. About 10 to 15 buildings were damaged in the more rural Jones County. Columbia Mayor Robert Bourne said the tornado straddled U.S. 98, so damage was on both sides of the four-lane highway. Bryant had said earlier that the tornado cut a swath of about 3 to 3.5 miles long through Columbia and about a quarter of a mile wide.

Image: Sandra McDaniel
Sandra McDaniel walks through the remains of the product showroom for Jack Morris Gas Company in Columbia, Miss., Dec. 24. The community was hard hit by a tornado on Tuesday that destroyed several businesses and homes and have two deaths attributed directly to it. Rogelio V. Solis / AP

—Associated Press