Six tornados confirmed in Mississippi - - Jackson, MS

Six tornados confirmed in Mississippi

By Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The National Weather Service confirmed Sunday that a fourth tornado hit central Mississippi in Attala County.  The first tornado tore through Byram around nightfall Friday with winds that reached 120 miles per hour.

"I've been right in this area for 40 years.  I've never witnessed anything quite like it," said Byram resident William Grace.

The powerful winds blew out billboards, uprooted trees and damaged Byram businesses like Harvey Hampton's used car dealership and auto repair shop.

"I have a few cars that are damaged and the car lot is destroyed, but other than that we're all right," said Hampton.

The same tornado crossed the Pearl River into Richland and onto the grounds of the Jackson-Evers International Airport.

"We did evacuate passengers and staff including those folks from the air traffic control tower down to the lowest level of the building for their own safety," said airport spokesperson Bonnie Wilson.

The half mile wide EF2 tornado damaged residences in Pearl.  "Mostly a lot of wind and rain. Plus this tree had fallen on this house.  Done quite a bit of damage, but everybody got out okay.  Nobody got hurt or killed," said Steve Mounger with relief.

More than eight hours later, a less-powerful twister touched down in Kemper County with maximum winds of 70 miles per hour.  The third tornado blasted through Noxubee County around 2:30 Saturday morning.  The National Weather Service is calling it an EF3 tornado with winds that reached 140 miles per hour.  Possibly the most damage occurred in Attala County where the fourth tornado, an EF2, touched down.

According to MEMA, a total of 39 homes and 40 businesses were destroyed or seriously damaged by the severe storm system.  

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