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Rogelio V. Solis, Associated Press
Terry Hartness, former owner of Hartness Farm, stands on the slab that was an office as he tells how the new owners held on to a full size refrigerator when a tornado hit the farm, a 12-chicken house operation that was leveled in Noxapater, Miss., Wednesday, April 30, 2014. The farm was sold on Friday and its new owners were at the farm when a tornado demolished the property and injured them. There were no chickens at the farm.

NOXAPATER, Miss. — There's nothing left of the poultry farm owned by Charlie and Cindy Wilkes save for splintered wood, twisted metal and scores of dead chickens.

A tornado on Monday tore through the East Mississippi community of Noxapater (pronounced Nox-uh-PAY-ter) and pounded the Wilkes' farm. In minutes, the winds blew away eight huge poultry houses, holding 28,500 broilers apiece.

Few of the roughly 220,000 birds survived the storm, which struck down other chicken farms in this countryside. The 15-day-old chickens that survived walked among dead birds Wednesday as workers tried to corral them.

Cindy Wilkes says the tornado struck at the family livelihood, but they have insurance and will rebuild.

"We've lost our farm and we lost our home, but we're alive," she said.