Numerous Tornadoes Strike Southeast, Damage More Than 90 Homes

February 5, 2016

The National Weather Service says at least four tornadoes struck rural areas of western Alabama on Tuesday. NWS reports four tornadoes also touched down Tuesday in eastern Mississippi.

Officials say an EF2 tornado struck the McMullen community in Pickens County, Alabama, Tuesday evening and destroyed 13 homes. Of that number, 10 of the structures were mobile homes.

Tornadoes in the EF2 category can have winds of between 113 and 157 mph and are known to cause considerable damage.

National Weather Service officials say tornadoes also hit the Ethelsville area of Pickens County, Fayette County and Lamar County. Additional details on the extent of damage in those areas weren’t immediately available. Calls to the local emergency management agencies weren’t immediately returned.

In Mississippi, Joanne Culin, a meteorologist in the Jackson office, said an EF1 tornado with winds of 110 mph hit southern Newton County.

An EF2 tornado with 125 mph winds tracked through northwestern Lauderdale County through the small town of Collinsville and into Kemper County.

Another EF2 tornado with 115 mph winds hit Kemper County at the town of Scooba and went into Noxubee County.

An EF1 tornado with 110 mph winds hit central Noxubee County at Shuqualak (SUGAR-lock).

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says 31 homes were destroyed or had major damage, and 48 had minor damage.

First Baptist Church in Collinsville and student housing at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba were also damaged.

NWS also reported a tornado touched down in Crockett County during a storm that barreled through Tennessee.

The weather service said on Twitter that the tornado touched down Tuesday, creating a track 3 to 31/2 miles long and 75 yards wide. Several buildings at Crockett County High School were damaged. Officials said four or five homes also were damaged, but no deaths were reported.

On Wednesday, an emergency manager in northwest Georgia said storms prompted the evacuation of an apartment complex as several roads were under water.

The emergency manager in Catoosa County said in a report to the National Weather Service that the apartments being evacuated before dawn Wednesday were near the town of Fort Oglethorpe, just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and about 110 miles northwest of Atlanta. No serious injuries were reported.

The storms are part of a system reaching from the Gulf Coast nearly to the Great Lakes.

Tuesday’s storm also caused problems in other parts of Tennessee. In Chattanooga, heavy rains led officials to close flooded roads and left some vehicles stranded in high water. Officials on Wednesday were monitoring the water level of South Chickamauga Creek.

Officials said a driver had to be rescued Wednesday when SUV was swept into a flooded creek in Cheatham County.

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