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Survivor Accounts

Scroll down along the path of the tornado. Click on names for personal accounts from the 1953 Vicksburg tornado. Video interviews are in yellow, white text/pushpins indicate written accounts which appeared in the Vicksburg Post 50th anniversary special edition.

Eddie Guy ShiersEddie Guy ShiersPatsy Jo ClarkPatsy Jo ClarkLillian Mitchell, Stephanie Mitchell DeanJohn StepanBuford EvansBuford EvansClara Behr, Clarissa Behr DavisClara Behr, Clarissa Behr DavisJoy McVanJoy McVanOllie SykesOllie SykesPeggy DudleyPeggy DudleyRosa ColemanMarie RenaudEuphytee and Theresa WilliamsEuphytee and Theresa WilliamsMarian Love PhillipsMarian Love PhillipsMargie WrightMargie WrightMary Frances Dent TerryMary Frances Dent TerryLillie Mae Clark FlaggLillie Mae Clark FlaggMavis WilsonJohn KolbVictoria Habeeb SalemDonna Musil SchreinerBart SchreinerBart SchreinerMartha Gilbert HilbunAngeline SmithDavid DabneyOren BailessOren BailessHilda Dent HandHilda Dent Hand

Additional Submitted Accounts:

Edmund Cummins (WQBC Radio - South St/Cherry St)
I was 17 years old, a senior at Carr Central High School working the afternoon-evening announcing shift at Radio Station WQBC as an announcer. The station was upstairs in the Vicksburg Post building on the corner of Cherry and South Streets. Just after 5:00 pm the power went out. We had emergency lights but no power for the console. Loren Miller, the station manager, walked across the street from his home to take charge. After about an hour he told me I could go for a supper break. I walked down South Street to Washington Street. Washington Street was completely covered in fallen masonry three or four feet deep. There were cars in the middle of the street covered in masonry. I walked on top of the masonry down to Clay Street, up Clay Street and down to the Saenger Theater where the roof had collapsed on a Saturday afternoon movie filled with youngsters. I went back up to the radio station. By 8:00 pm they had emergency power back on the console. The transmitter was outside of town and was not affected by the tornado. We went back on the air and even though WQBC normal broadcast schedule was from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, we stayed on the air 24 hours a day for the next three or four days. I worked the console until the next morning. I lived across the street from the station so I went home a caught a couple of hours sleep. I then joined my Naval Reserve Battalion and went downtown to help locate people trapped in the businesses. I spent most of my time on the corner of Washington Street and South Street where several building had collapsed. I worked late into Sunday evening and then went home. Monday morning I went back to school and my regular routine.