With start of tornado season, area dodges bullet

Published 4:21 pm Friday, March 2, 2007

Natchez, Vidalia and Ferriday dodged a whirling weather bullet for the second time in a week Thursday morning.

The entire Miss-Lou was under a tornado watch, then warning from 8 a.m. until nearly 11 a.m., but no funnel cloud touched down.

“We were very fortunate again,” Adams County Emergency Management Director George Souderes said. “This is the second system that was near or around us, building up between Jonesville and Ferriday, that the National Weather Service saw some rotation in that just skirted north of us.”

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Saturday night, a tornado destroyed several mobile homes in Frogmore, but Natchez and Vidalia saw little to no damage.

Thursday, storms passed through Ferriday, sending residents indoors.

No damage was reported to Souderes’ office, the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office or Ferriday Police Department after Thursday’s storms.

The same system moved through Mississippi and Alabama, causing considerable damage in several Alabama towns.

“We kind of dodged a bullet in a lot of respects,” Jackson National Weather Service Meteorologist Ed Agre said of Mississippi.

Winds, rainfall and damage were minimal across the state.

Catahoula Parish saw winds of 60 mph, Agre said. An inch and half of rain fell in the Jonesville area. Natchez saw less than half an inch of rain.

Thursday’s storms were the result of a strong cold front moving through the central part of the state, Agre said.

Weather conditions should be calm until the end of next week, he said. Another front may come through at that time.

March and the early part of April are prone to severe weather in the South, Agre said. More systems like the recent ones could develop.

Souderes and Concordia Parish Emergency Management Director Morris White warned area residents to stay prepared for storms.

“This is actually the beginning of our tornado season,” Souderes said. “Winter doesn’t want to give up and spring wants to come on in.”