TISHOMINGO • Tishomingo County officials spent all day Wednesday cleaning up from a tornado that hit the town of Tishomingo around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
More than three dozen homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed in what the National Weather Service in Memphis has called a tornado. The storm blew over trees, ripped off roofs and destroyed the town’s Dollar General store.
“It hit in town and was on the ground for a little while before it picked up,” said Tishomingo County Emergency Management director Payton Berklite. “It dropped back down and did more damage out in the county.
“Right now, it looks like 30-40 houses and businesses received some damage. Most of the damage was in town and then heading east along Highway 30.”
There were plenty of trees knocked over, out buildings blown away and roof damage.
“Thankfully there were no injuries or fatalities,” Berklite said. “We did have a good bit of power out last night but the power company was able to get about half of it restored by (Wednesday) afternoon.
“Not only did we have our crews working to clear roads and restore power, we had crews from Alabama and all around the area. The town of Ecru sent a crew to check on water and gas leaks.”
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency director Greg Michel flew in Wednesday to survey the damages.
Crews from the National Weather Service offices in Memphis and Huntsville were in the area gathering information and surveying the damage. Officials feel the tornado will likely be classified an EF1 or EF2.
Tim Wright lives on Highway 25 in the middle of Tishomingo and was surprised how fast the weather changed.
“I had just got home and was walking in the yard,” Wright said. “It was sprinkling and I noticed the wind start to pick up. I saw it getting dark in the north and heard the (tornado) sirens go off so I went inside to check the TV.
“They said it would be in Tishomingo in a minute. I got under the stairs and 30 seconds later it hit.”
When it was over, he walked outside and found a tree had crushed his car. His shed was blown away and there were shingles missing from his roof. Just 200 yards to the north, the Dollar General was destroyed.
“What amazes me was the emergency management folks – whoever was in the blue shirts and yellow vests – were here in my yard just three minutes after it hit,” Wright said.
He noted that it was less than five minutes after he heard the warning sirens sound that the tornado hit.