Friday tornado with 110 mph winds confirmed in Mississippi by National Weather Service investigators

Published 9:57 am Saturday, June 17, 2023

The National Weather Service in Jackson confirmed that a tornado with winds of approximately 110 mph touched down near Vicksburg Friday.

An NWS team confirmed the twister after visiting the site of the twister’s path.

The investigators determined that a high-end EF-1 tornado was found in southern Warren County and that the path of the tornado was about 8.5 miles long and a half mile at the widest.

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On Friday, several roads remain blocked by trees and residents in several areas of Warren County remain without power as the area continues its recovery from severe weather that hit the county and the surrounding area early Friday.

Sharonda Waddell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Jackson, said the area was also hit by 80 mph straight-line winds.

NWS meteorologist Dan Byrd said Friday afternoon that residents in the area can expect more of the same weather over the weekend.

“I would say periods of showers and thunderstorms pretty much through the weekend with the potential to be severe pretty much through the weekend,” Byrd said. “It’s a continuation of what we’ve been seeing.”

Entergy customer service representative Victoria Love said 8,956 Entergy customers remained without power as of about 3:45 p.m. The utility reported 9,447 out Friday morning.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said sheriff’s deputies responded to 86 road closures — either completely or partially blocked — between 4 a.m. and noon on Friday. Vicksburg police responded to 74 weather-related calls during the same period.

“Some of these (roads) had multiple trees down,” Pace said. “We are still sitting on Burnt House Road; there are multiple trees down on Burnt House Road.”

Pace said deputies have been out since 4 a.m.

“We’ve been running a double shift since 4 a.m. and the county road department has been right with us,” he said.

“Right now, we have eight roads that are either blocked or partially blocked with trees down but the road department cannot clear the road until the power company removes the lines and declares them safe,” Pace said. “We have had some structural damage to residences but no injuries have been reported. We’ve had trees down and limbs down that have damaged homes and vehicles. But to this point, we’ve had no reports of injuries.

“It was tough; I watched it come in about 3:30 this morning and by 4, we were at the height of it; by 4:30, quarter to 5, it had moved through most of Warren County and into eastern Warren County and into Hinds County at that time,” he added. Pace said the extra deputies remain out.

“We appreciate the public’s patience and ask for their continued patience with the power companies and road crews as they work to clear the thoroughfares,” Pace said.

Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said 12 homes in the county and the Blackwell Church on Redbone Road were damaged during the storm.

“We still have roads blocked and a lot of people without power,” he said. “Some people may be without power for several days, and it’s going to be hot.” Elfer said he has seen several homes using portable generators and reminded people to use the machines properly by making sure the machine is in a well-ventilated area and to plug appliances directly into the generator; do not connect it to the house. “We just ask the public’s patience as the power companies restore power and the road crews clear the roads,” he said.