Seven counties in Mississippi have reported damage after severe storms and at least one tornado moved through the state on Sunday evening, but a flash flood warnings issued has since been lifted.
Storm spotters confirmed at least one tornado, which moved through Lamar and Forrest Counties in Mississippi on the evening of Feb. 10, notes a statement from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
The National Weather Service issued an alert on Sunday advising of the continuation of the flood warning for the Pearl River above Philadelphia. At that point, the flood stage was at 13 feet and the river was expected to rise to near flood stage early Wednesday morning.
Noting that forecasts are based on rainfall that has occurred and that expected over the next 24 hours, the warning stated: “Please use extreme caution if venturing near riverbanks. Move to higher ground immediately should rising water threaten your safety.”
The warning was lifted shortly before 2 am on Monday.
MEMA has received reports of damage from seven counties as a result of severe weather. Reported damage includes as follows: Forrest County – numerous homes, businesses and public buildings have sustained significant damage, several roads have been closed because of downed trees and power lines, and there are numerous power outages; Lamar County – damage is reported in multiple locations, two critical injuries have been reported, and there are power outages and some power lines down; Lawrence County – injuries and some damage has been reported; and Marion County – a few injuries have been reported and several homes are said to have been damaged or destroyed.
Governor Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency for the Forrest, Lamar, Lawrence and Marion counties because of the impacts of the severe storms and tornados. Any additional counties with damages or impacts due to the ongoing severe weather will also be covered by this state of emergency, notes a statement from the governor’s office.
The declaration allows for the use of state resources and assets to support local governments in their response efforts. “As local and state officials work together to assess the damages, this state of emergency will help expedite the support needed,” Bryant says in the statement.
MEMA has deployed state resources, including search and rescue teams and a forward command centre, to support local governments in their response.