UPDATE: Severe weather, large hail pounds parts of Mississippi

By NEMS Daily Journal and wire




From The Associated Press

Meteorologists issued tornado warnings for parts of northwest Georgia and severe thunderstorm warnings around the state.

Elsewhere, Alabama Power officials said 198,000 customers were without power as of 5 p.m.

In Mississippi, Clinton Fire Department Deputy Chief Tim Shanks said firefighters responded to calls of two people hit by hail. He said crews were on the scene and he didn’t know the severity of the injuries.

The National Weather Service in Jackson said an off-duty employee measured a piece of hail the size of a softball.

Baseball-sized hail was reported in several areas with smaller hail reported around the metro Jackson area, with some parking lots and sidewalks coated in white chunks of ice.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeff Rent said hail — ranging in size from golf balls to tennis balls — hit MEMA headquarters in Pearl.

“We’ve got a lot of damaged vehicles here at MEMA,” Rent said.

Rent said there was damage reported in at least 12 counties, with homes and other buildings damaged in some places.

National Weather Service meteorologist Anna Weber in Jackson said the weather in the metro area was hit by “a few super cells” that pushed out of the area to the south-southeast.

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says severe weather has caused damage in at least 10 counties as a storms move through parts of the state.

MEMA says damage was reported Monday to homes in Grenada, Itawamba, Lowndes, Tallahatchie and Union counties. There were reports of downed trees in several other counties.

National Weather Service meteorologist Anna Weber in Jackson says there were a few super cells in central Mississippi. She says there were reports of hail up to baseball size in Clinton. There were multiple reports of smaller hail around the Jackson metro area.

Weber says a severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for parts of central Mississippi through 9 p.m. CDT.

MEMA says the latest forecast calls for the chance of damaging winds, hail and isolated tornadoes.

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Strong storms are moving through the Northeast Mississippi area at this time.

Some storm damage reports from National Weather Service and Journal staff …

- Tupelo Police are working a wreck on 45 South bound at Barnes Crossing Road. Tupelo police are asking the public to please avoid this area if at all possible. A tractor trailer is hanging from 45 overpass at Barnes Crossing. The accident happened around 1:18 p.m. The driver of truck Joe Sisk, who works for Shannon Steel, and is OK, according to Daily Journal’s Sheena Barnett. He was able to climb out of the truck cab. Another tractor trailer has flipped over between Shannon and Verona.

- Out building blown over at Home Depot in Tupelo. Estimated 50-60 MPH wind gusts.

- Tupelo Water and Light is getting reports of power outages in East Tupelo and around Tupelo Middle School/Industrial Road. Part of the roof of the DHS office building was blown off.

- Street Closing in Tupelo due to storm damage: Officials have closed Ida Street to Milford and Ida Street to Varsity, according to the city.

- Hail reports in Monroe County.

- Chickasaw County trees uprooted.

- From Alcorn, Prentiss and Tishomingo County the only weather-related events reported were a roof blown off a house and a tree fallen on a roof, both in south Tishomingo County between Dennis and Belmont. Random power outages were also reported.

Forecast from National Weather Service
Today – Showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could be severe. High near 72. Southwest wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tonight – A slight chance of showers before 1am. Cloudy during the early evening, then gradual clearing, with a low around 39. West northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming north after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

More updates as available.