Tornado causes damage, no deaths in Vardaman

By Lisa Voyles/Chickasaw Journal

VARDAMAN – A sudden storm took residents of Vardaman by surprise Wednesday, causing structural damage to buildings and recreational facilities, but resulted in no major injuries

Mayor James Casey said he was stunned by the speed in which the tornado passed over Vardaman and the amount of damage it left in its wake.

“We didn’t have any warning,” Casey said. “The television was reporting thunderstorms. I was at home, looking out my window and all of a sudden the trees started blowing every which way.”

Casey said he believed the tornado originated at the Southwest corner of town around the Sportsplex which suffered damage to a dugout, two scoreboards and bleachers.

“It looked to be about 300-400 yards wide” Casey said. “I don’t believe it was on the ground, maybe ten feet off the ground from the damage it did.”

Several streets were blocked with fallen trees and one injury was reported to a resident when a tree fell on her home.

“It was slight, not bad enough to go to the hospital,” Casey said.

Volunteers were on the scene Wednesday to begin clearing trees and debris and were still at work Thursday.

“We had a lot of volunteers out,” Casey said. “This was my first time. I’d never experienced it before.”

Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service indicate an EF-1 tornado with winds as strong as 90 miles per hour were responsible for the damage.