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#6: Tornado strikes Dalewood, Russell

By Staff
Jan. 1, 2001
Two Lauderdale County communities don't have to look very far back to find one of The Meridian Star's top 10 stories of the year.
Residents of the Russell and Dalewood communities have yet to complete clean-up and recovery from tornadoes that ripped through their properties on Dec. 16.
Authorities say 21 people where seriously injured in the storms, which also did heavy damage to about 100 mobile homes, houses and businesses in the two communities separated by about 20 miles.
Among those hurt, at least one welcomes the new year in from a hospital bed.
Gryner's home was not destroyed, but like many of his neighbors, he and his family were without power and water throughout the night. It was days before all utility services were restored to homes in the Russell community.
Gryner said the storm may have caused difficulties for his family, but the weather did much more harm to others who work near his West Parkway South Drive community.
A few blocks away sit piles of brick and wood on a clean slab of concrete that was only weeks ago home to a thriving convenience store.
Bolen's Food Store in Dalewood was one of about four businesses wiped out by the winds that weather officials initially hesitated to call a tornado .
He said the lack of a warning that a tornado was coming was due to "bad judgment," not bad radar equipment.
Volunteers with the Red Cross say they are still unsure if all the victims who suffered losses in the storms have applied for assistance.