The storms started Sunday afternoon and lasted well into the night, with “tornado emergency” warnings issued in many parts of the state. Meteorologists urged residents to take cover.
The National Weather Service in Memphis tweeted photos of downed trees and power lines. Businesses and homes in the area sustained damage, but there have not yet been any reports of injuries.
News outlets reported tornadoes near Yazoo City, Byram and Tchula on Sunday, with the most significant reports in Tupelo, where a “life-threatening” tornado touched down.
Calhoun County Sheriff Greg Pollan said Calhoun City also “was hit hard tonight.”
“Light poles have been snapped off. Trees in a few homes. Trees on vehicles. Damage to several businesses. Fortunately we have had no reports at this time of injuries,” Pollan posted on Facebook, asking people to stay off the roads. “Emergency personnel are working feverishly to open the roads as quickly as possible.”
The damage was more severe for some residents: Vickie Savell’s new mobile home was completely destroyed. She moved into it just eight days ago, but the tornado lifted it off its foundation and threw it some 25 feet.
“Oh my God, my first new house in 40 years and it’s gone,” she said Monday, amid tree tops strewn about the neighborhood and the roar of chainsaws as people worked to clear roads.
Forecasts have called for more storms across Mississippi in the coming days as well as in parts of Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia. Tuesday’s storms could see winds of up to 70 mph and hail the size of golf balls.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.