Two tornadoes hit Yazoo County

By JAMIE PATTERSON,

Two tornadoes hit the southwestern portion of Yazoo County last weekend with residents continuing clean-up efforts as they brace for more potential weather Thursday.

Jack Willingham, Yazoo County emergency management director, said the National Weather Service confirmed that two tornadoes touched down in rural Yazoo County last Saturday afternoon. Willingham said 30 properties were reported damaged as of Tuesday morning.

“And we have severe weather coming in on Thursday,” Willingham warned. “Do not depend on outdoor storm warnings as your only source of warning. Have weather radios with batteries inside your home.”

Although many properties and roads were damaged during the weekend weather that ripped through the entire state, no injuries were reported.

Pastor Scott Sones was inside Hebron Baptist Church praying as a tornado traveled through the Phoenix area. He truly believes God heard his prayers and offered protection with the church receiving no damage.

“I talked to our neighbor afterwards who said he saw the tornado suck all the water out of his pond, but then it seemed to lift up as it went over the church itself,” Sones said. “We were truly blessed and protected.”

Sones added that the church is renovating its building, and the roof was being repaired prior to the severe weather. Other than a few limbs on the property, he said the church was safe.

“Materials can always be replaced, but Yazoo was blessed that no one was killed,” Sones said. “That in itself is a blessing.”

The NWS reported that the first tornado landed in Yazoo County from Warren County around 5 p.m., rating as an EF-2. Peak winds hit 115 miles per hour and its overall path from Warren into Yazoo County was 20.37 miles, hitting Yazoo particularly in the Phoenix, Cox Ferry and Hilderbrand Road area. The width of the tornado was measured at 700 yards.

The second tornado hit Yazoo County around 6 p.m., rating as an EF-0. Peak winds were 74 miles per hour and measured 25 yards wide. The tornado remained on the ground for about three miles in the Dover Road and Wells Road area.

Willingham said heavy rainfall led to flash flooding within Yazoo City as well.

“Power crews remain out working diligently to restore power,” Willingham said. “As of Tuesday morning, we still have about 125 customers without power.”

And Willingham said residents need to prepare and be aware of another storm surge arriving Thursday.

“Another round of storms moving through on Thursday will bring heavy rainfall to the area,” he said. “One to three inches of rainfall with locally higher amounts will be possible. With wet antecedent conditions, this will result in a limited flash flood threat for the entire area.”

With the encroaching weather threat, Willingham said preparation is vital.

“Keep a kit in case we have more power outages with a gallon of water per person in the house and non-perishable food items to last for three days.”