Possible tornado injures at least one in Brookhaven; second injury in Jones Co.

Published 8:06 pm Friday, December 21, 2007

Authorities say a powerful storm system, possibly packing a tornado, left at least one person injured and damaged some structures in Lincoln and Jones counties on Thursday.

Mike Womack, director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, said it was impossible at this point to say whether a tornado had touched down in Brookhaven or an area near Laurel. Womack said the weather system was approaching the Gulf Coast and other areas of the state.

“The system still has the potential to deliver a lot rain and winds along east Mississippi,” Womack said.

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Womack said four structures in the Brookhaven area of Lincoln County and one in the Laurel area of Jones County were damaged.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said a possible tornado touched down around 9 a.m. in the rural part of the county, destroying two mobile homes and damaging two other homes.

Rushing said the person who was injured was in one of the mobile homes. He was identified as Bill Beasley. King’s Daughters Medical Center spokeswoman JoAnna Sproles said Beasley was in stable condition, but no other details were provided.

Emergency crews spent much of Thursday clearing downed trees and restoring electricity in Lincoln County.

“I don’t know if the sirens were activated, it came through so quickly,” Rushing said. “We’re trying to get power restored… . We’re in cleanup mode right now.”

Tammy Wells, with the emergency operations office in Jones County, said two women were checked in at a hospital after the intense storms blew over their mobile home north of Laurel. She said the two were not seriously injured.

Wells said there was scattered damage in the county and power outages.