Long-Term Community Recovery

Tornado Photos

On April 27, 2011 an EF5 rated tornado touched down along Mississippi Highway 25 and damaged or destroyed a 3 mile long by 1/2 mile wide area of the Town of Smithville. An estimated 25 percent of the Town's total housing stock was destroyed. The Town Hall, Police Station, and Post Office were destroyed. The largest employer, a furniture manufacturer, was destroyed and temporarily relocated. The Smithville School and the town's only grocery store were heavily damaged. The Town of Smithville was listed in a Federal Disaster Declaration on April 29, 2011.

On June 1, 2011 community leaders gathered for a Community Recovery Organizational meeting. At this meeting the Advisory Committee, Housing Sector, Education Sector, Infrastructure Sector, Infrastructure Sector, Economic Development Sector, and Community Services Sector were established. This marked the beginning of a whole community approach to the recovery process with the goal of restoring and strengthening all sectors of the community. The process will include:
  • Engaging the community in dialog, conversation and feedback throughout the recovery planning process, including small group meetings, open house forums, workshops, design charettes and briefings Town Board meetings.
  • Identifying issues and needs for community recovery.
  • Identifying vision and goals for community recovery.
  • Confirm issues, vision, and goals.
  • Identify programs, projects, and strategies.
  • Identify and develop partnerships with local, regional, state and federal agencies to coordinate and leverage resources.
  • Produce a summary document.
The intended outcomes of the process are as follows:

  • A Long-Term Community Recovery Plan with established vision, goals, and projects to support the vision, including identification and potential resources.
  • Coordination of resources to leverage public and private funding for recovery.
  • Increased local capacity that prepares community leaders to more effectively address the challenges resulting from the disaster.
Kim Johnson,
Aug 26, 2011, 10:17 AM