Severe weather alert issued

BUTTON-Chickasaw_weather_tornadoFrom Staff and Wire Reports
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is asking residents to prepare for severe weather this afternoon and evening. The National Weather Service is predicting that an approaching cold front will bring the possibility of strong tornadoes, damaging winds, large hail and flash flooding.Weather Service predictions show a moderate risk of tornadoes beginning about where Interstate 20 cuts across the center of Mississippi and extending north as far as Michigan.The latest forecast calls for severe weather threats to increase in Mississippi beginning Thursday afternoon, with greater chances of rain and storms overnight. Wind gusts as high as 35 mph and rain of 2 inches of more could be recorded in the northern Delta region and around Memphis. Less wind and rain is predicted in the Jackson area.

Emergency responders in Chickasaw County have also asked residents to be prepared in the event of bad weather.
Capt. Jonathan Blankenship, with the Houston Fire Department, said Chickasaw is one of more than 30 counties under a severe weather watch.
“There is a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms across the entire Mid-South today and tonight,” said Blankenship, in an email to media and emergency response crews, “as a strong cold front moves through the lower Mississippi Valley.”
Blankenship said the worst threat would be from damaging winds and localized flash flooding from heavy rainfall.
He said weather would move into the area from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. with the worst threat for severe thunderstorm from midnight to 4 a.m. Friday.
Blankenship, MEMA and the NWS also recommend you take the following steps:*   Have a family emergency plan.
*   Residents in mobile homes or manufactured housing should have a safe place to wait out the severe weather.
*   When riding in a vehicle, never attempt to outrun a tornado.  You should abandon the vehicle and get into a nearby ditch or sturdy structure.
*   Check and restock your emergency supply kit in case you are without electricity for an extended period of time.


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