By Staff and wire reports
UPDATE: 6:28 p.m. – National Weather Service forecast …
Tonight: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 49. West southwest wind between 10 and 15 mph. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 67. Breezy, with a west wind between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.
Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 41. West northwest wind between 10 and 15 mph becoming calm.
UPDATE: 3:35 p.m. – Tornado Warning for Clay & Lowndes counties until 4:45 p.m.
UPDATE: 3:28 p.m. – Damage reports from National Weather Service …
Corinth – Tree reported down at the intersection of foot street and Washington/Polk Streets.
Randolph in Pontotoc County – Porch destroyed and lifted over a mobile home. … Several trees down over southern portions of Pontotoc County.
UPDATE: 1:31 p.m. – From MEMA –
PEARL –The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has received damage reports from counties across the state related to a severe spring storm system and tornadoes moving through the state.
There is extensive damage in the city of Clinton in Hinds County, causing I-20 to be shut down on both lanes. People are being asked to stay away from the area if possible, as emergency crews respond and assess the damage. MEMA’s Mobile Operation Center has been deployed to support emergency operations in Hinds County and the city of Clinton.
Numerous power outages have been reported across the state.
Severe weather is expected to continue throughout the day. MEMA will continue to provide additional reports as information becomes available. Residents should continue to monitor local media for weather warnings and reports.
For more information, visit us online at www.msema.org. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook using the keyword MSEMA.
UPDATE: 1:19 p.m. – Tornado Warning for Oktibbeha canceled at 1:17 p.m.
UPDATE: 11:54 a.m. – Storm hits Van Vleet
Trees down, homes damaged in Chickasaw County community between Houston and Okolona.
By Floyd Ingram
A fast-moving storm descended on Van Vleet in Chickasaw County Friday morning toppling dozens of trees and destroying one mobile home, but no one was reported injured.
The line of damage began around the Post Office in the community of Van Vleet, between Houston and Okolona and moved in a northeast direction with a tree later reported down on Highway 32.
“We are not sure if it was a tornado or straight-line wind at this point but we do have damage to trees and property,” said Linda Griffin, deputy director of the Chickasw Emergency Management Agency. “We have no reports of anyone being hurt at this time.”
Ruth Carter lives behind the Van Vleet Post Office and said the storm struck quickly.
“We were watching the weather on TV and also looking out the door, but there was no warning,” said Carter. “It was raining and everything and then all of the sudden it hit.”
A 200-year-old oak tree more than 5-feet in diameter was uprooted in Carter’s front yard
A tree was also pushed over on her house with a limb coming in a back bedroom.
“This was bad, but I’ve got insurance and we’re going to be all right,” said Carter. “The sun will come up tomorrow. I’m just glad no one was hurt.”
More than 15 trees were counted downed or damaged around Carters property.
Josh Earrey said he was working in a metal building when he noticed several dogs come in the shop.
“I could tell they were acting strange,” said Earrey. “It was raining and then I heard this roaring sound. I grabbed a hold of my uncle Kenny Cruse and the wind swept down and then it was gone.
“We went to the door and could see the tornado,” said Earrey. “I don’t scare at little things, but this scared me.”
Earry said he and Cruse immediately began checking on neighbors.
Griffin said the storm destroyed an unoccupied mobile home on Highway 32 and a tree also fell on a large butane storage tank in Van Vleet.
“The first call to 911 was about the tree on the butane tank,” said Griffin. “Then we started getting calls about the power being out and trees down on roads.”
Griffin said the area is served by Okolona Electric Power Company and crews responded to the weather almost immediately. Griffin also said the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Department and Van Vleet Volunteer Fire Department were immediately sent to the scene.
The strom struck while many residents were at work, prompting many to rush home and check their property for damage.
Chris and Jessica Laster had the roof on their back porch thrown into the front yard at their home on CR 164.
“We were not at home and neighbors called and told us the storm had struck,” said Jessica. “It damaged Chris’ shop and threw the trampoline into a tree.”
UPDATE: 11:48 a.m. – Oktibbeha County among those under a tornado warning until 12:15 p.m.
UPDATE: 11 a.m. – Daily Journal’s Lena Mitchell said she talked to Tishomingo County Superintendent Malcolm Kuykendall who said they let out school after hearing from the weather service that intense storms will hit Tishomingo County from 1:45 to 5 p.m.
UPDATE: 10:22 a.m. – Floyd Ingram from the Chickasaw Journal reports a strong storm this morning in the Van Vleet Community between Houston and Okolona in Chickasaw County. Storm dropped down on the post office and headed northeast. More than a dozen trees down and power out. A resident says they saw rotation in the sky, but no tornado has been confirmed. More as we know it.
UPDATE: 10:16 a.m. – Tishomingo County Schools are dismissing at 11:45 a.m. today due to weather. Report closings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: 10:02 a.m. – From The Associated Press …
Leflore County Emergency Management director T.W. Cooper said at least two mobile homes and a storage shed were damaged or destroyed near Minter City. A significant number of trees were down in the area.
Daniel Lamb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said the roof was blown off another mobile home in Issaquena County. The weather damaged a shop near the border of Washington and Bolivar counties.
A tornado watch was expected to remain in effect for a large portion of the state into Friday afternoon.
“It looks like it’s going to be a volatile set up,” said Brian Koeneke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson. “We could have a few tornados and there’s the possibility for a strong tornado.”
UPDATE: 9:54 p.m. – Daily Journal reporter Danza Johnson reports parts of Nettleton lost power briefly but it has been restored at this time. … Hearing reports of power outages in Starkville.
UPDATE: 9:42 a.m. – Daily Journal reporter Carlie Kollath reports flooding on side streets in Tupelo, especially Jefferson and Park. Main streets seem OK. Heavy rain still coming down.
Got photos or video of the storm? Click here to send them to us.
UPDATE: 9;25 a.m. – Reports of storm and wind damage south of Troy in Pontotoc County.
UPDATE: 8:38 a.m. – Raining hard in Alcorn County according to Daily Journal reporter Lena Mitchell. No reports of weather damage at this time in Alcorn, Tippah, Prentiss and Tishomingo Counties.
UPDATE 8:26 a.m.: At least one accident this morning attributed to the weather so far in Tupelo this morning. A car slid off the road on 78. Injuries unknown at this time. More as it is available.
The Associated Press
JACKSON — A line of severe weather pushed into Mississippi on Friday, threatening to produce large hail, heavy rain and tornados.
There were already reports of damage early Friday in Mississippi as the severe line of weather pushed in from the west. The same line of storms produced a tornado that killed two people in Oklahoma. At least three others died in Arkansas.
Brian Koeneke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said winds up to 60 miles per hour were reported in Washington County early Friday morning. The roof blew off a mobile home in Leflore County. Trees and power lines were also knocked down in that area.
Koeneke said nearly 25 counties in Mississippi were under tornado watch early Friday. The threat of severe weather is expected to last into the evening for much of Mississippi.
“It looks like it’s going to be a volatile set up,” Koeneke said. “We could have a few tornados and there’s the possibility for a strong tornado.”
National Weather Service Forecast
Today: Showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could be severe. High near 79. Breezy, with a south wind between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms likely before 10pm, then a slight chance of showers between 10pm and 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 49. West southwest wind between 10 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Tornado watch remains valid until 10 a.m. this morning for following areas: