Home destroyed, school damaged in Wesson tornado

Published 11:03 am Tuesday, February 16, 2016

From The [Brookhaven] Daily Leader


COPIAH COUNTY — A tornado destroyed a mobile home in Lincoln County and damaged Wesson Attendance Center in Copiah County Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

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The home, located at 3779 Jackson-Liberty Road, served as a daycare run by Ashley and Ryan Terry.

Ashley said they were inside with three children when it was blown over. During the initial storm, she and her husband and the three children were at her mother-in-law’s house, she said.

“When the storm passed and it started to get sunshiny, we returned to our house and put the children down for their naps,” Ashley said. “All of a sudden, we heard an awful loud noise and the trailer started shaking. My husband said, ‘Grab the kids,’ and then we were thrown from the house.”

Ashley said her husband shielded them when they landed between their vehicles.

“We ran back to my mother-in-laws’ and called 911 so someone could check out the children,” Ashley said.

The children had some bruises and minor injuries, Ashley said. The National Weather Service confirmed the reports of minor injuries.

The Wesson Attendance Center also suffered severe roof damage from the unformed tornado.

Copiah County School District Superintendent Rickey Clopton said the main damage occurred on the high school side of the facility.

“Most of the damage was to the old gym, the high school gym and the high school library,” Clopton said.

Students were at the school when the tornado hit, but no injuries were reported. Parents were allowed to pick up students early.

Clopton said school will be canceled Tuesday, but a contractor will be working all night to get things running again. The school anticipates reopening Wednesday, he said.

The Copiah County Emergency Management Agency reported damage throughout the county, but was still in the process of assessing it Monday evening.

Copiah-Lincoln Community College reported trees down, but no damage. Co-Lin canceled classes for the day.

There were also reports of homes damaged in Wesson. A home at 1190 Martin Road was damaged, as well as a home across the road.

Officials reported Old Highway 51 and U.S. 51 were blocked with downed trees near the Lincoln-Copiah line.

The NWS reported that a tree fell on a truck on Hwy 27 in Rockport briefly trapping a person.

The storm also brought strong winds to Brookhaven. A tree was reported down on Fulton Street.

Thousands were without power following the storms. Entergy reported as many as 4,800 in Copiah County were without power. Southern Pine reported about 3,500 without power in the county. Southwest Mississippi EPA reported 6,500 outages.

Storm damage was reported in 19 counties, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.