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Tornadoes strike again near Christmas

Tuesday, areas around Columbia suffered severe storm damage from what was thought to be tornadoes.
The major storm system came from up north, and as it headed south through Mississippi, it left a path of destruction, four people dead and dozens injured.
This incident is a reminder of what our county went through in 2011 on Christmas Day, when what could be the worst tornado in the county’s recent history damaged homes in the communities of Carriere and McNeill.
Fortunately for the residents of our county there were no fatal injuries as a result of that storm. But that’s not the case for the victims of Tuesday’s storm.
Here in Pearl River County the most recent storm system left us mostly unscathed. Most of what this area saw Tuesday evening involved a high degree of lightning activity, and a lot of rain, which was desperately needed due to a drought.
Columbia was not so lucky. Several buildings were damaged and thousands were left without power. As of Wednesday afternoon all but about 300 customers had power restored. Coast Electric estimated having those remaining customers reconnected by the end of that day.
The residents of Pearl River County can relate, to a degree. After the 2011 tornado, lucky homeowners in the county were without power; the unfortunate ones were left without homes. But we were fortunate that no lives were lost.
However, many lives were saved during Tuesday’s storm. Due to the alerts from weather sirens, many people had ample time to seek shelter from the tornadoes. Pearl River County also has several emergency sirens. So keep in mind, the next time those sirens are activated, you should consider finding shelter to ride out the storm.