TUPELO, Miss. (Press Release) – Nearly four years ago to the day since an EF3 tornado ripped through Tupelo, city department heads participated in a mock tornado drill.
Mayor Jason Shelton and Chief Operations Officer Don Lewis issued the call at 8:30 Wednesday morning. Department heads reported to the Emergency Operations Center, housed in Tupelo Police Headquarters on Front Street by 8:45 a.m. to review the structure of emergency operations and their roles should a tornado hit the city again.
“It’s just imperative as a city that we prepare for these events,” Mayor Shelton told the group as it reviewed its emergency procedures. “We’re all emergency responders during these times.”
Mayor Shelton recalled nearly seven years ago when an EF5 wedge tornado, packing up to 205 mph winds, raked through Smithville, destroying 117 structures, damaging 50 others and killing 16 people. And then, only four years ago on April 28, 2014, about 2,000 residences and 150 businesses in the All-America City were damaged or destroyed.
“Drills like this test our capabilities,” Shelton said. “This helps us prepare.”