Chicago area carpenter and storm chaser Jonny Gabel and a group of fellow storm chasers were following a wave of deadly tornadoes that have been tearing through Mississippi in recent days when they heard about the devastation in the Mississippi Delta community of Rolling Fork. "We stopped chasing the storm, and we just went straight into Rolling Fork to help with taking people out, search and rescue," he says.
They arrived in the town to a scene of near total destruction and then Gabel heard a yell for help from nearby. He rushed to what used to be home and found an elderly woman among the wreckage sitting on her bed "almost like nothing happened." The woman told Gabel the tornado tore the roof and wall off her home in one swift motion, right in front of her eyes. But she was one of the lucky ones because other townspeople nearby didn't survive the storm. "That's where the real heartbreak, heartache is," he says.
Gabel posted a video on his TikTok of them carrying a baby out of the wreckage which showed the family's home in pieces. The post has been viewed more than 190,000 times and helped him get in touch with a relative of the family. Now Gabel is promising to use his construction skills to help the family rebuild for free.
A GoFundMe has been created to help cover the cost of materials for the family’s new home.