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"This is a blessing": Silver City resident says of Red Cross response after tornado

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

Catherine Bates and her granddaughter Kala Wells were at their Silver City home on Friday night when the violent tornado made its way through Mississippi. It’s an undoubtedly terrifying situation for those in the storm’s path, but Bates relied on her faith to keep her calm and prioritized making sure Kala was safe.

“In that moment she was wanting to protect me,” Wells said. “I just about start crying though because I was so scared.”

“I knew she was scared because she’s young, and I wasn’t scared because of my faith,” Bates said. “I just had to help her and get her situated and let her know that this was God’s work, and we’re going to be taken care of.”

Thankfully, neither Catherine nor Kala got injured in the storm. The home did suffer a lot of damage, with the roof being torn off in areas and debris scattered throughout, but there was one area that remained untouched.

“I was sleeping this side of my bed right there, and my water is still on my nightstand, untouched,” Bates said. “It didn’t even knock over, no windows were broken, nothing. Not a scratch in my room, see all the other rooms, my room is right here in the front, it should have been hit, but God saved me.”

Their home is currently inhabitable, so Catherine and Kala are staying in an apartment with other family members in a town about an hour away but have been coming back to check on their home during the day. Even with many of their material things needing to be replaced, that’s not what Catherine is focusing on in the storm’s aftermath.

“I will not complain because the Red Cross and everyone that has been down here have been wonderful, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart,” Bates said. “The consolation of talking to me and bringing us food and asking how we’re doing; this is a blessing. That through all this, you stop to come by and see us, it means so much.”

“It’s just too much sometimes, to think about all the damage and see it on TV,” Wells added. “But y’all have been so helpful, if it weren’t for the Red Cross and other organizations here, I don’t know what we’d do. We’re so grateful.”

The Red Cross will be supporting those affected by the tornadoes in the days and weeks to come as they plan their next steps. You can make a difference in their lives by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word TORNADO to 90999 to make a donation.

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