OFD sending donations to tornado victims

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, March 29, 2023

The City of Oxford’s Fire Department this week opened a donation center at Fire Station 1 located on 399 McElroy Drive in effort to help those affected by last weekend’s deadly tornadoes. 

The department is sending much-needed goods to the cities of Winona, Rolling Fork, and Amory all of which were devastatingly affected by the tornados that hit on Friday afternoon. 

Non-perishable items needed include: batteries, flashlights, lanterns, non-perishable foods, toilet tissue, cleaning supplies, water, work gloves, toiletries, blankets, and manual can openers. The department urges the community to drop off these goods by Thursday, March 30, as their last time going out to these towns will be this Friday. 

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“I think it’s a great thing that the city is doing,” Oxford Fire Department Chief Joey Gardner said.  “The storm affected a lot of people and several people in the state lost their lives. Of course, these donations aren’t going to replace a life, but it’s for the people that lost their homes. Anything people can give can go a long way.”

Drop off times at Fire Station 1 are from 9  a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The first deadly tornado left 25 people in the state dead all along a path of 59.4 miles. The tornado touched down near Rolling Fork and continued on the ground for a full hour, until hitting Mississippi town, Silver City. 

The tornado had winds up to 170 mph, and became one of the state’s deadliest tornadoes in history. 

The second tornado formed near Blackhawk, and went to Winona, covering a path of 28.6 miles. This tornado had maximum winds up to 155 mph. 

The storm moved along and formed a tornado in the neighboring state of Alabama as well, leaving an Alabama man without his life. 

Along with several other donation centers in the county at local churches such as First Baptist Church of Oxford and Pinelake Oxford, Mississippi Blood Services will be collecting items at their Oxford location through Wednesday, March 29.