Tornado survivors in US pick through debris, grateful to be alive

ROLLING FORK     -     A brick house reduced to rub­ble, its floors strewn with per­sonal effects like a pink back­pack and a bottle of shampoo, somehow standing upright. That’s just one of many scenes of the utter devastation left by a tornado that ripped through the southern US state of Mis­sissippi Friday night. And shell-shocked residents of the shattered town of Rolling Fork are now grappling with how much their lives changed in the blink of an eye. At least 25 people were killed, 13 of them in this town of 2,000 people. On Sunday morning, under skies that were blue for the time being, with more storms possible, people came back to see the blasted wrecks of what used to be their homes -- and to salvage what they can. “Twenty years of my life, gone,” said Shirley Stamps, standing in her ruined house and looking at her bed now covered with dirt and sticks. “But thank God, thank God,” said Stamps. “We’re here. We’re alive.”

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