Northeast Mississippi under tornado watch


11:05 a.m. – Tornado watch for the following Counties in Northeast Misssippi until 6 a.m. ….

Calhoun County
Chickasaw County
Clay County
Itawamba County
Lee County
Monroe County
Oktibbeha County

10:51 p.m. – Flash Flood Warnings are in effect for Calhoun, Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Monroe and Pontotoc Counties until 1:15 a.m.

7:40 p.m. – JACKSON (AP) – There were no reports of injuries as of 7:30 p.m. in the Jackson area. Downed trees and power lines were reported in the Jackson area and there were some buildings damaged, although the extent of the damage hadn’t been determined.

“We do know we’ve got some damage in Byram, which is just south of Jackson. We do know we’ve got some damage in Pearl, west of Jackson,” said Greg Flynn, spokesman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

6:51 p.m. – NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Storms knocked out power to more than 19,000 Mississippi residents while broad swaths of Louisiana and Mississippi were under severe weather watches and warnings that threatened New Year’s Eve revelry.

Entergy Corp. reported more than 19,000 outages Friday evening, most in Hinds and Rankin counties.

6:42 p.m. – NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A tornado was spotted over Interstate 55 in Mississippi while broad swaths of Louisiana and Mississippi were under tornado watches as severe weather moved across the South.

WLBT television in Jackson said a camera operator saw the tornado Friday afternoon but there were no reports of it touching down or causing any damage.

Watches and severe weather warnings prompted by heavy thunderstorms were posted throughout the day by the National Weather Service. And the threat of storms hung over New Year’s Eve celebrations, including the one that draws thousands to New Orleans’ French Quarter for music and midnight fireworks.

The National Weather Service at 4 p.m. today issued a tornado watch for Northeast Mississippi.

The watch is in effect until 11 p.m. for the following counties:

• Alcorn
• Benton
• Calhoun
• Chickasaw
• Clay
• Itawamba
• Lafayette
• Lee
• Lowndes
• Marshall
• Monroe
• Oktibbeha
• Pontotoc
• Prentiss
• Tippah
• Tishomingo
• Union

Click here to see the radar for NEMS.

A watch, according to the NWS, means severe weather is possible during the next few hours.

A warning means that severe weather has been observed, or is expected soon.

The storm system rolled through the Jackson area earlier this afternoon. Jackson media outlets are reporting flash flooding, downed power lines, building damage, hail and at least one tornado.

The NWS says to expect the following with this storm system:

• Isolated tornadoes.
• Total rainfall of 2 to 4 inches tonight.
• Flash flooding of roadways, culverts and ditches.
• Damaging winds.
• Large hail.

The storm system already has killed at least six people.

The AP reported at 4:30 p.m. that authorities say a third person has been killed in Missouri by the powerful storm system that spawned several tornadoes and claimed at least three lives in Arkansas.

6:10 p.m. update:

It’s raining at the Daily Journal office in Tupelo and it’s windy outside, but nothing too severe yet.

Reader @hypocritter reports rain, thunder and lightning in Aberdeen but “nothing bad yet.”

Via Jim Cantore’s tweets from The Weather Channel:

@JimCantore: Within 15 minutes storms with lightning move into Memphis, TN

@JimCantore: TORNADO near Flowood, MS near Castlewoods subdivision

Follow @JimCantore for more updates from the Jackson area.

Other updates on Twitter:

@EricLawWLBT: Storm damage in and around the Pearl area. Trees/power lines down. Parts of Tinsletown Movie Theater roof have been damaged. #mswx #wlbt
5:15 p.m. update:

Media outlets are reporting weather damage in Jackson. Some of the tweets:

@EricLawWLBT: Sigificant damage south of Jackson near Byram. Trucks jack knifed, power poles down, building damge.

@WAPT_Heather: Tornado on the ground with a history of damage is moving towards Flowood, Richland, and Brandon within 5-15 minutes. Take immediate shelter

@JxnFreePress: Bassett: funnel cloud close to River Oaks Hospital.

@JimCantore: SPOTTERS REPORTING 1/2mile wide damage with this tornado. TORNADO EMERGENCY from JACKSON east to BRANDON

Check back for more weather updates.

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