Tornadoes strike several Mississippi towns

Published 7:00 am Friday, December 2, 2016

Earlier this week, five tornadoes determined to have been EF-1 strength, caused damage to homes in Mississippi.

Those storms struck areas in 15 counties, including Rankin, Scott, Leake, Winston, Noxubee, Okibbeha, Clay, and Monroe counties, damaging a number of homes.

Fortunately, news agencies report no injuries as a result.

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Tuesday night, Pearl River County was under a tornado watch, but fortunately nothing much occurred around here except much needed rain.

We all remember the tornado that struck the area of Carriere and McNeill on Christmas day in 2012. Several homes were damaged. And while some injuries were reported, no one was killed.

While we reached the end of this year’s hurricane season with only one small scare, these stories are reminders that storm damage can strike at any time of the year, and we should always be prepared.

Tornadoes are different than the hurricanes we typically experience.

Hurricanes of category three or higher typically entail widespread damage when they make landfall, but the damage from most tornadoes is confined to a smaller area by comparison. But tornadoes can spawn with much smaller storms and typically only affect a concentrated area.

Still, as we saw with the tornadoes earlier this week, while the damage was isolated in the areas where the tornadoes were relatively strong, their reach was spread out over a large area.

The worst part about these kinds of storms is that we don’t have a couple of days warning to prepare. Typically, that warning comes only minutes ahead of time.

So, preparation is key.

Be sure to have a safe place in or near your home to ride out the storm. A room surrounded by interior walls is best if you don’t have access to a storm shelter.

And most of all, keep up with severe weather warnings through your preferred method of choice.