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MEMA update on Monday's tornadoes

(Kalisha Whitman, WTVA)
(Kalisha Whitman, WTVA)
Reported by: WTVA News
Email: news@wtva.com
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Updated: 4/30 9:28 am
This is a news release issued Tuesday evening by state emergency managers regarding Monday's tornadoes:

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has received reports of at 12 deaths and widespread damages related to the severe weather and tornadoes that moved through the state Monday.

The counties reporting storm-related deaths are as follows:
Issaquena: One death.
Lee: One death.
Rankin: One death.
Winston: Nine deaths.

National Weather Service survey crews have confirmed tornadoes touched down in at least three counties. Crews have rated the tornado in Tupelo as an EF-2 with winds between 111 to 135 mph. Due to some areas being inaccessible survey teams will look at additional damages to determine if the tornado may have been stronger. In Winston County NWS surveyors determined damages are the result of an EF-4 tornado with winds estimated between 166 to 200 mph. In Rankin County NWS survey teams have determined an EF-3 tornado with winds between 136-165 mph touched down Monday evening.

The primary focus of emergency crews is search and rescue in the affected areas. MEMA area coordinators have been dispatched to Itawamba, Lee and Winston counties to assist with operations.

The counties reporting damages are as follows:
Choctaw-: Several roads affected by flash flooding.
Desoto: Several roads affected by flash flooding.
Grenada: Eight homes minor damage.
Hinds: Several homes damaged, trees and power lines down, roads affected by flash flooding.
Itawamba: Several Homes damaged and roads affected by debris and flash flooding.
Jones: Homes damaged and roads affected by flash flooding.
Leake: Several homes damaged.
Lee: Major damage in the City of Tupelo. Reports of extensive home damage in the area.
Lowndes: 35 homes with major damage. 55 homes with minor damage and one business was destroyed.
Madison: Several roads closed due to damage.
Montgomery: Two homes destroyed, one with major damage and eight homes with minor damage.
Neshoba: Several roads closed due to debris and flooding.
Newton: Four homes destroyed and four homes with major damage. Eight homes suffered minor damage and four homes were affected. Five roads received major damage and another six had minor damage.
Quitman: Trees and power lines down in the Marks community.
Rankin: One death in Richland. Highland Park Trailer Park: 37 mobile homes destroyed, 12 with major damage, 11 with minor damage and 59 affected. Numerous injuries reported from this location. Additional damage surveys are underway in other parts of the county.
Scott: One home destroyed and one home with minor damage. One business received minor damage and three people were injured. One person remains hospitalized.
Simpson: Two homes were destroyed, five homes with major damage and 15 homes with minor damage.
Warren: Four homes with major damage and three homes sustained minor damage.
Wayne: Several homes affected and roads closed due to flooding.
Winston: Seven deaths and numerous injuries. Major damage near Louisville. The Winston Medical Center has been damaged. Several homes have been destroyed.

Three shelters are open in Lee and Winston counties:

Columbus- Southside Baptist Church 100 Nashville Ferry Rd. East
Louisville- First Methodist Church, 300 W. Main St.
Louisville- First Baptist Church, 305 S. Church Ave.
Pearl- Pearl Community Center next to City Hall 2420 Old Brandon Rd.
Tupelo- BanccorpSouth Building, 375 E. Main St.


Gov. Phil Bryant has declared a State of Emergency Monday to make state resources available to assist affected areas.

As of 4 p.m. approximately 27,350 customers are without power in the state.

The Mississippi National Guard is assisting with response efforts in Lee and Winston counties. The Mississippi Highway Patrol has also dispatched teams to affected areas.

Volunteers interested in assisting affected communities may sign up at http://volunteermississippi.org/2014/04/2014-tornado-relief/. Residents are urged not to self-deploy but to sign up and assist with the coordinated volunteer relief effort.

Much of the state is still under a tornado watch with the possibility of tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, damaging winds, heavy rain and flooding and dangerous lightning. Residents should monitor local media, social media or other technology for current weather conditions and notifications.

MEMA urges the public to report damages to your local Emergency Management Agency. For a list of contact numbers for your county, visit www.msema.org/local-ema. For more information, go to MEMA’s website at www.msema.org or download the MEMA mobile app on your iOS or Android device.

The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, or “Follow” us on twitter.
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