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Entries in Smithville (1)

Sunday
May012011

Church Services Held, Burials Begin in Aftermath of Southern Storms

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) -- An open-air church service took place in the town of Phil Campbell in Alabama on Sunday, as residents there and in other areas hit by deadly tornadoes the previous week, continue to pick up the pieces in the wake of the storms' destruction.

In Phil Campbell, where 26 residents were killed, Pastor Chris Burns told those who had gathered for the service in the spot where their church once stood, that the small town would recover from the tragedy.

“Last Sunday was Easter, and we celebrated on the first day of the week a resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and today, we celebrate a resurrection of Phil Campbell, Alabama,” said Burns.

Elsewhere in Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, where 36 people died, there were armies of church members reportedly moving about communities collecting relief supplies and then distributing those supplies to people in need. Officials in Alabama say approximately 1,700 people were injured by the storms in the state, and at least 248 people were killed.

In Smithville, Mississippi on Sunday, residents began the process of burying those who were killed by the violent weather. A pastor in the tiny town told ABC News that he has already buried one of his neighbors, a woman who was pulled from the rubble of her home alive, but later died. Smithville has a population of about 800, with the storm claiming the lives of about a dozen of the town’s residents. At least 34 people were reportedly killed by the storms in Mississippi.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio