Storm damages buildings
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 12:00 AM
Damage was reported to buildings and signs along west Beacon and Main streets last Wednesday morning when a severe thunderstorm with strong wind gusts moved through Neshoba County.
The damage was limited to an area in the vicinity of the Neshoba County Co-op and the Depot Marketplace, Emergency Management Director Jeff Mayo said.
Pancho's on west Beacon Street sustained extensive damage to its roof and a side wall.
The Depot Marketplace sign was damaged and ceiling tiles were blown off an old service station, Mayo said.
Neshoba County was under a severe thunderstorm warning with substantial wind gusts last Wednesday morning.
No injuries were reported.
The only damage reported in the county was a single fallen tree, Mayo said.
Meanwhile, as part of this week's statewide Severe Weather Preparedness Week observance, Mayo and other officials were to test all warning functions including the city's warning sirens today at 9:15 a.m. as part of a tornado drill, weather permitting.
The drill provides an opportunity for everyone including schools, businesses and homes to assess their preparedness for severe weather and specifically their readiness for a tornado warning, Mayo said.
The last tornado to hit Neshoba County was on Oct. 18, when an EF-1 with 100 mph winds destroyed a metal and wood frame building, moving a mobile home off its foundation, destroying storage buildings, downing power lines and uprooting numerous trees in the Beatline and Bethsaida communities.
In 2011, Neshoba County experienced two strong tornadoes including an EF-3 that began east of Bethsaida and went into Kemper County and an EF-5 that began near Northside Park and continued northeasterly along Mississippi 21 into Kemper, Winston and Noxubee counties.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency received reports of damage from 11 counties statewide in last week's storm.
"We were very fortunate that only one minor injury was reported," said MEMA Director Robert Latham. "Our residents took the warnings seriously, and it shows that preparedness works."
Other counties reporting damages were:
Coahoma, damage to at least one home and one business and power outages; Desoto, damage to several homes and power outages; Grenada, damage to a few homes and trees down; Lee, downed trees and power lines; Monroe, damage to a few homes, power outages and one non-life threatening injury; Panola, damage to at least one home, trees down and power outages; Pontotoc, damage to several homes and power outages; Quitman, damage to at least one home and trees down; Tallahatchie, damage to a few homes and trees down; and Washington, damage to several homes, trees down and power outages.
Nationwide, the Associated Press reported that one person died in Nashville, Tenn. when a large tree blew down a shed where a man was sheltering.
In Arkansas, another person was reported injured by lightning during the storm's eastward trek.