96-year-old woman rides out Mississippi tornado

February tornado touches down in eastern Mississippi.

NEWTON COUNTY, Miss. (AP and WJTV) – A sheriff in eastern Mississippi says a tornado has damaged homes, toppled trees and knocked out power.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie says the tornado struck about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday near Collinsville, northwest of Meridian. He says it appears to have been on the ground about 5 miles.

“I went to shut my back door and it blew it away and all this happened,” says Ruby Kennedy while she sits propped in the doorway of her home. “It was over so quick,” she says.

Kennedy recently celebrated her 96th birthday. She’s missing some shingles from her home and trees were covering her yard.

“The only tree we didn’t want, it didn’t touch,” says Kennedy laughing as a walnut tree still stands in her yard surrounded by downed pecans.

Now it’s time for recovery. Not even an hour after the storm it, neighbors from all around were helping Kennedy repair her home; a priceless birthday present.

“I just have wonderful neighbors and friends and they’ve always been good to me,” Kennedy says as she began to tear up.

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