Storms kill 3 people in north east Mississippi - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Storms kill 3 people in north east Mississippi

By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

NORTH EASTERN MISSISSIPPI, MS (WLBT) - What has proven to be a deadly weather system tore through north east Mississippi early Sunday morning.  Three people were killed.  Governor Haley Barbour has declared a state of emergency for Benton, Lafayette, Panola, Tippah and Union counties.

The fatalities occurred in Abbeville and Benton County. Twenty-five year-old Latoya Long and 26-year-old Thomas Catrell Cowan were killed when their mobile home was blown apart by winds around 2:30 Sunday morning.  Fifty miles away, Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy said, 45-year-old Phyllis Sabbatini was killed when her home was destroyed by the storm.

The National Weather Service was surveying damage in the area to determine whether tornadoes had been spawned by the weather system.  Rain poured down on much of north Mississippi causing flooding.  In Tupelo drivers ignored barricaded streets buried under water. Flood waters reached the door steps of homes, but no major residential flooding has been reported. 

In Ripley, located in Tippah County, a large tree ripped out a gas line which forced the evacuation of an entire neighborhood.  Power lines were snapped and scattered along roads.  The owner of the Trade Day Mall went to check on his building only to find the roof had been ripped off by strong winds.

"I was in the back door.  I knew it was hitting because of the wind and the trees and everything. Then I got the phone call, it hit your building," said the unnamed owner of Trade Day Mall.

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