A line of thunderstorms and possible tornadoes that rolled across the state Friday peeled back roofs, knocked down trees and turned scheduled events upside down.
At least two possible tornadoes were reported as touching down just south of Houston, according to the National Weather Service in Memphis. Homes sustained roof damage and several trees and power lines were knocked down, but no injuries were reported.
With winds reaching up to 70 mph, the National Weather Service said it was unclear if the damage was caused by straight-line winds or by an actual tornado.
“We had reports of tornadoes but they haven’t been substantiated,” said meteorologist Chris Duke. “We know their has been some damage to some homes and power lines, but with the high wind speeds we saw, it’s hard to tell if a tornado indeed caused the damage.”
Most of the damage in Northeast Mississippi was reported in Chickasaw and Monroe counties. In mid-afternoon, families and friends were repairing roofs and removing debris caused by the heavy winds and rain.
In the western part of the state, several counties reported property damage Friday as strong thunderstorms swept through the Delta.
Katherine Gunby, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, said more than a dozen mobile homes were damaged and some were destroyed near the Mississippi River south of Greenville.
Trees or tree limbs were reported to have fallen in Bolivar, Humphreys and Sunflower counties.
In addition to the damage, the bad weather caused a change in plans for a number of activities. The shuffling started Thursday, when Friday night football games were moved up 24 hours to avoid the expected rain and soggy fields and others were postponed from Friday to Monday.
On Friday, flight schedules at the Tupelo and Memphis airports were disrupted because of the weather.
In Tupelo, the 39th Annual State Marching Band Festival was moved from today to next weekend, while Mississippi State University canceled its homecoming parade and delayed the setup of its tailgating tents until 7 p.m. Friday.
The wet weather is expected to continue this morning before letting up this afternoon. Temperatures will moderate, with the highs reaching the low 60s.
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Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal