ROLLING FORK, Mississippi – The modest one-story home that Kimberly Berry and her two daughters shared in the Mississippi Delta flatlands was completely destroyed by a powerful tornado, leaving only the foundation and a few haphazard possessions, including a toppled refrigerator, a dresser, and matching nightstand, a bag of Christmas decorations, and some clothing.
While her 25-year-old daughter was surviving in the hard-hit town of Rolling Fork, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) away, Berry and her 12-year-old daughter huddled and prayed at a nearby church that was barely damaged.
Looking at what little was left of their material goods, Berry shook her head. She expressed her gratitude for her continued survival and that of her kids.
“I can recover all of this. It’s nothing,” declared Berry, a 46-year-old supervisor at a catfish production and processing facility. I won’t allow myself to become depressed over it.
She has an uncertain future, just like many others in this region that is experiencing economic hardship. The majority-Black Delta, which is one of Mississippi’s poorest regions and where many people live paycheck to paycheck in agricultural-related professions, is one of the nation’s poorest states.