Tornado damages homes near Hacks Cross Road, Bethel Road and U.S. 78 The Commercial Appeal

23 мая 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Windy 31 Tornado

Olive Branch twister packs 105 mph winds

A reported tornado damaged the homes in the Bethel Park subdivision Thursday evening in Olive Branch.

Olive Branch got another walloping Thursday when a tornado touched down, destroying five homes, breaking glass and overturning cars.

We have major damage, Mayor Sam Rikard said. Overturned car on Hacks Cross. Several homes with major roof damage. Numerous homes in College Crossing damaged.

Trained spotters for the National Weather Service said a tornado touched down at approximately 5 p.m. at Hacks Cross Road and U.S. 78.

Photo by Stan Carroll // Buy this photo

The National Weather Service said winds of 105 mph hit Olive Branch. Damage included the Bethel Park subdivision, where homeowner Brian Samples removes storm debris from his yard as Kevin O’Sullivan (left), Tommy Samples Jr. and Rusty Jeffreys patch the roof.

We have major damage, said Mayor Sam Rikard. Overturned car on Hacks Cross. Several homes with major roof damage including this one in Bethel Park.

The worst damage from the tornado appeared to be around Bethel Road and U.S. 78. The weather service said the tornado, which ran along a track about 300 yards wide and 4 miles long, had estimated winds of 105 mph.

Bobby Storey, director of the county’s emergency management services, said five houses were destroyed by the storm and seven homes were heavily damaged. He did not immediately have the names of the subdivisions affected.

A shelter was set up for displaced people at Longview Heights Baptist Church on Goodman in Olive Branch. And by nightfall, officers were stationed at the entrances of subdivisions with damage to guard against looters.

It was the second time in recent weeks that a storm hit Olive Branch with such force that a tornado was suspected. The first one, on June 12, was later confirmed.

On Thursday, no injuries were reported by the wet, windy system that blanketed DeSoto County with thick, gray clouds and activated tornado sirens.

The anticipated severity of the storm prompted Olive Branch police to warn residents through its Facebook page.

Everybody take cover. a message said.

Judy Nell, a resident of Olive Branch’s Bethel Park subdivision, said two sections of her family’s roof were torn away and the garage door, fencing and gardens were damaged. She said as soon as her son called from Collierville to warn of the storm, it hit.

We went into the closet, Nell said. It was just heavy winds and breaking windows.

The owner of Barbwire’s Bar Grill south of Olive Branch watched the storm with customers and felt fortunate afterward that the only damage in her immediate area was a downed tree.

We sat out on the porch and watched it, Barbara Gatewood said. We thought it was going to take our awning off. It was shaking. It blew the back door of the building open. It just missed us. It took a big tree down across the street.

Judy Dunlop, a Plantation Lakes resident, was out of the way of the heaviest part of the storm, but she saw some of its drama nonetheless.

Windy 31 Tornado

I was driving home from Collierville and the lightning was unbelievable, she wrote in an e-mail. Everyone appears to be OK in our development.

Storey said parts of roofs had been taken away by the winds in the area of U.S. 78 and Bethel, or Hacks Cross Road, but damage was pretty much limited to the Olive Branch area.

The west side of the county where it originated. looks like it did real well, Storey said.

Around 6 p.m. Southaven police Chief Tom Long had said the Toby Keith concert, slated to start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the outdoor Snowden Grove Amphitheater, was still scheduled to would go on rain or shine. But by 6:30, the chief said the show had been canceled.

Officers that had been directing traffic into the gates that opened at 6 p.m. were directing vehicles out by 6:30.

The show has been rescheduled for the fall.

Long said no reports of damage from the storm were reported in Southaven.

Entergy reported electrical service to about 120 customers was cut by the storm. Entergy delivers electricity to more than 400,000 customers in Mississippi and 52,000 in DeSoto County.

Unlike the June 12 storm, there was not that much lightning and the circuits were not affected, said Entergy spokesman Pat Nelson.

Immediately after the storm, Northcentral Mississippi Electric Power had about 9,000 customers without power. By 7:30 p.m. all but about 500 had been restored.

Reporter Yolanda Jones contributed to this story.

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