Tornado claims one life in Kemper
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:00 AM
The man who died in the Kemper County tornado last week was pinned underneath some of the siding of the hulking steel-frame building that now stands almost stripped of its tin, a solemn reminder of the devastation the EF3 tornado wrought.
Philadelphia’s Rescue One was called to help with recovery of the man who died at the Central Fabricators facility.
Carlos Madrigal, a 28-year-old welder from Blue Mountain, Miss., was killed while at work at Central Fabricators Inc. on Mississippi 493 about a mile south of the Moscow community.
The tornado touched down shortly before noon about fives miles north of the lignite coal power plant on Highway 493 before leaving a 68.4 mile reign of terror into Noxubee County and on into Pickens County, Ala.
The town of DeKalb was spared.
The Philadelphia Fire Department's Rescue One was among surrounding communities to respond to the disaster. Rescue One was on the scene at Central Fabricators.
Emergency Management Director Jeff Mayo said House and North Bend volunteer fire departments also responded.
The city responder went to Highway 493 to help with clearing debris from the road beside the coal plant facility while members of House went to Highway 495, Mayo said.
Donnie Luke, Chief of the North Bend VFD, said he responded to help get the Kemper County repeater back online.
"So many people - when they are gone - people will say, 'Yeah, they were a good person," said Lisa Madrigal, Carlos' stepmother. "In Carlos' case, he really was a good person. You couldn't find anyone that (didn't) love him."
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 damaged 27 homes, six were destroyed.
The twister first touched down just south of Old Jackson Road between Mississippi 495 and Mississippi 493 and began to cut a swatch across 493, and Highways 16, 397 and 21 on the way to Shuqualak in Noxubee County, leaving a trail of damage along the way.
The tornado destroyed several homes on Old Jackson Road, splitting at least one home in two and thrusting trees through others.
The house Justin Kilpatrick residents in 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.
Another house across the road was also damaged.
The tornado then made its way to Highway 16, where Sarah Herrington vividly remembers the sounds of the twister.
"Boom, boom, boom, boom," she described the sound. "I just started praying. Then all of a sudden our trailer started shaking."
Kemper County Emergency Management Director Ben Dudley said while last week's tornado and the one two years ago took slightly different paths, they crossed Highway 16 at almost the exact same spot.
On April 27, 2011 a tornado tore through Kemper County claiming three lives in the Preston community and leaving devastation in its path.
"You could stick a pin in a map and you would see that it was the same place," Dudley said.
"The same lady had damage to her home both times."
The National Weather Service reported that the base of the tornado was three-quarters of a mile wide.
The strong winds took down a TVA transmission line and thousands were without power on Thursday, with about half that many still without service during the early stages of Friday.
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.