Camilla residents remember Valentine's Day tornado
Monday marked the 11th anniversary when a tornado ripped through Camilla. Ninteen people were killed by the tornado and many homes were completely destroyed.
While they say time heals all wounds, the cuts in Camilla still run deep.
"It is an amazing at the amount of destruction that can be caused in a twinkle of an eye," said Mitchell County EMS Director Clark Harrell. "Homes were just literally blown apart."
Harrell remembers going to bed the night everything changed.
"We knew at the time that there was a tornado watch. But how many times do we have tornado watches? It's kind of a common place thing. How many times do you have an actually tornado? It certainly happened February the 14th of 2000," said Harrell.
The streets that were the hardest hit by the tornado were Goodson and McNair. Walk down those streets today and you could hardly tell, that's because many of the homes on this street have since been rebuilt.
One of those people on McNair is Will Mobley.
"We heard a noise. You know it was raining. We had wind, but never being in a tornado or not knowing what it might look like. We were just sitting and waiting for it to be over," said Mobley.
Mobley he went from waiting to being injured.
"When they found me I was laying flat on my back, face up. I tried to get my wife to turn me over. I thought if I could get on my knees I could get up. But no I couldn't get up I couldn't move anything from waist down," said Mobley.
Mobley was helped up by his neighbors. Today he and his wife are in good health, but says like the other people who lived through it that Valentine's Day will not be forgotten.
"It ain't hardly a month that goes by, that some of the guys it doesn't come up in a conversation somewhere. You can always get material things, but you know lives," said Mobley "That was the saddest thing about it."
The residents want to stress how tight their community became after the tornado, as strangers pitched in to help the cleanup effort. They say that unity was one of the good things that came out of the disaster.
Much of the same area was hit three years later when a tornado hit in 2003. Four people died in that tornado.