Family of four survives after tornado lifted their home from its foundation

Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 11:05 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2023 at 7:54 AM CDT
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ROLLING FORK, Miss. (WMC) - A family of four survived their home being lifted off its foundation, and being buried under debris during a deadly tornado outbreak Friday night.

“We can hear a roaring. We hear the roaring. Now the wind started getting strong. Now the wind got so strong it started busting the windows.”

Sammie Jackson acted fast and got his family under a mattress in a hallway. Then, he says, they braced for a direct hit.

“We heard ‘boom, boom, boom’ and then our house got lifted straight into the air,” Jackson said.

Jackson said he was then hit in the head with debris, separated from his family, and buried under the bricks that were once part of the structure of his home.

“I just heard my grandson calling out ‘Paw-Paw, Paw-Paw,’” Jackson said. “There wasn’t anything that was going to stop me from getting out of that mess.”

Amazingly, Jackson’s 7-year-old grandson was safe along with the rest of his household. His family’s fortune is something he said he can’t stop thinking about.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Jackson said about the devastation surrounding him Sunday afternoon. “I’ve lived here my whole life and I just can’t believe it.”

Jackson, like the rest of his hometown of less than 2,000, is left grappling with the question of what’s next.

“I love this area,” Jackson told Action News 5 when we asked if he planned to rebuild. “I hope they give me enough money to actually do that.”

President Biden declared an emergency to aid recovery and clean-up efforts in Mississippi after a storm left at least 25 people dead over the weekend, making federal funds available for a number of counties that were ravaged in the state.

“We are very grateful to President Biden for acting swiftly on my request,” Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves told media from ground-zero Sunday afternoon. “We’re going to work with the people in this community as well as our federal partners to help this community rebuild.”

Rolling Fork Mayor Eldridge Walker reinforced Governor Reeve’s statement adding, “the City of Rolling Fork will come back bigger and better than ever before.”

If you are looking for assistance, visit the Federal Emergency Management website HERE (Home |

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