Kemper County tornado damage.
Kemper County tornado damage.
An employee at Contract Fabricators Inc., has been identified as the fatality in Thursday's tornado that destroyed the facility off Mississippi 493 in Kemper County.

Carlos Madrigal, 28, of Blue Mountain, was idendtied as the dead man, according to Kemper County Coroner Terry Bostick. The facility is about six miles north of Mississippi Power's lignite coal power plant.

Madrigal, who was inside the facility when the tornado struck, was pronounced dead at the scene, Bostick said.

"We are awaiting an autopsy to determine a cause of death," he said.

Madrigal's interests included four wheeling and mudding, according to his Facebook page. "Duck Dynasty" was among his favorite television shows. He also liked any kind of sports, working on cars, hunting and fishing and just hanging out with friends.

Several others along the tornado's path were injured.

The tornado touched down about 11:30 a.m., north of coal plant under construction and traveled northeast through Kemper County crossing Old Jackson Road, Mississippi 493, Mississippi 16 and Mississippi 397 before moving into Noxubee County.

The tornado apparently first touched down on Old Jackson Road, one mile east of Big Oak United Methodist Church. Several homes on Old Jackson Road were severely damaged.

The town of DeKalb was not hit.

At least 15 homes were damaged or destroyed, said Kemper Emergency Management Director Ben Dudley. There were five confirmed injuries and the one fatality, he said.

Contract Fabricators builds main components for the power plant. The power plant itself was not hit by the tornado, said Jeff Shepard, a Mississippi Power spokesperson.

Justin Kilpatrick's home on Old Jackson Road was among the first hit by the tornado.

Kilpatrick said he was in Philadelphia when the tornado destroyed the unoccupied house.

"For the past two weeks we were in the process of remodeling," he said, pointing to the flattened structure.

All the shingles were blown off the roof, which rested on the foundation.

Across the road, crews worked to clear debris Thursday afternoon from another damaged house.

No one was in either house when the tornado struck.

Sarah Herrington, who lives in a mobile home on Murray Drive just off Mississippi 16, heard the tornado.

"It was about 10 minutes to 12 and I was lying in my bed when this sound like 10 tractor trailers came by," she said.

"Boom, boom, boom, boom," she described the sound.

"I just started praying. Then all of a sudden our trailer started shaking."

Across the road, the houses of friends and family were also damaged or destroyed.

In Noxubee County, there were reports of significant damage and injuries in Shuqualak as the storm went west of town near the cemetery.

The tornado crossed U.S. 45 about three miles north of Shuqualak and moved through the Prairie Point area into Alabama.

In Kemper County, emergency responders from as far away as Meridian were seen headed into the storm ravaged area. The Philadelphia Fire Department's Rescue One responded.

A TVA transmission line was downed in the storm which left many Noxubee and Kemper residents in the dark Thursday night. Crews worked into the night restoring power.

For tornado assistance, call the Red Cross at 601-485-5151.

In Noxubee County, a Red Cross shelter has been set up at First United Methodist Church in Macon, 104 Jefferson St.