Science and TechNatural Disasters


Mississippi tornado: A family grieves the loss of a loved one

In the small town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, residents say this was all like a bad dream.
Posted at 7:56 PM, Mar 26, 2023

Shock and disbelief—that is how Vera Adams, the wife of Sharkey County Sheriff Lindsey Adams, describes what’s become of her beloved town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi.

"It just seemed so unreal. It was just like a dream," said Vera. "It’s just shocking to look at."

Vera says on Friday night, her husband dropped her off with a relative and headed in to work to help.

"He told me, ‘Baby, you need to stay. Just stay here; let me go.’ So, he headed back," said Vera.

While she was safe, she started checking in on other family members. Like her cousin, 50-year-old Mary Barfield.

"She was at home. And her mother told me she had called to check on her and said she was okay. And within the next 15, 20 minutes, that's when it just hit. And I know that's when I started calling and calling, but I never got an answer. No phone calls. No answer," said Vera.

Vera holds back her tears as she talks about the news of finding her cousin after family members went to search for her.

Piles of debris lay from tornado damage in Rolling Fork, Mississippi.

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Vera says she believes there are two reasons why her cousin chose to stay in her mobile home during Friday night'sstorm.

That first reason is because she believes she was sandwiched between two strong wooden homes.

The second reason is because she literally lived footsteps away from her mother's house, right across this road. So if anything happened, she had a place to go for help.

"Right now, it's hard. It’s unbelievable," said Vera.

Vera says Barfield was a loving grandmother who worked in the home health field and enjoyed taking care of her patients.

Now they are relying on their faith in a higher power to get them through.

"This family is strong. With our faith in the Lord. We can get through anything," said Vera.

Much like Vera Adams, there are people who didn't stay in Sharkey County during Friday's storm; they stayed with friends or family nearby.

Many of them are coming back now, sifting through what's left of their homes.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials are also searching places like this for people who are still missing, hoping they can find them alive.