Twisters skirt Miss-Lou

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; Two tornadoes tiptoed through the Miss-Lou Wednesday evening, causing almost no damage as they made their way east.

The tornadoes were an offshoot of a major weather system that moved in from Texas had the area under severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings for several hours. According to officials, the only damage done was to a cornfield near Dunbarton Plantation.

Concordia Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security Director Morris White monitored the storm, likening it to a highway system with the heart of the storm being an interstate.

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&8220;The bands must have been 150 miles wide, one right behind the other,&8221; he said. &8220;It was moving down I-20 and all these legs, like little highways, were coming down.&8221;

One of those legs sparked a tornado that started in Catahoula Parish and touched down near Dunbarton before running into a stand of trees at the other end.

This impediment to its progress caused it to lift off again, White said, as it continued to the backside of Clayton.

Meanwhile another leg turned into a tornado that started from the north of the village. This one, Morris said, dropped hail on Clayton but caused no damage.

A deputy at the Concordia Parish Sheriff&8217;s Substation in Clayton said a fellow deputy had spotted the first tornado as it touched down in a field but had heard no other reports of damage.

Both swept across the northern part of the parish before crossing the river into Adams County.

The county&8217;s Civil Defense Director, George Souderes, said the first tornado skimmed the northern edge of the county before twisting into Jefferson.

Jefferson County Sheriff&8217;s Office officials said they had gotten &8220;no touchdowns, no sightings, no nothing,&8221; and had no reports of structural damage or downed trees.

The tornado was next sighted in Lincoln County, but no damage of any sort was reported.

Souderes said the second tornado caught more of the county on a northeasterly course into Franklin County.

Again, no touchdown, Franklin&8217;s civil defense director said.

&8220;We spotted several funnel clouds, but if any touched down, we&8217;ve had no reports of it,&8221; Clifford Gayley said. &8220;We got a pretty good bit of rain, but nothing major and we&8217;ve no damage to report.&8221;

Souderes said the rain gauge at civil defense headquarters recorded just .03 inches of rain and the winds, though they gusted to 21 miles-per-hour, blew &8220;basically 5-6 miles-per-hour.

&8220;We were very fortunate,&8221; Souderes said. &8220;The good Lord blessed us again.&8221;