National Weather Service: Tornado likely responsible for damage

Published 12:24 am Monday, May 1, 2017


NATCHEZ — National Weather Service meteorologists say a good chance exists that a tornado landed southwest of Natchez early Sunday morning.

NWS Jackson Meteorologist Thomas Winesett said the preliminary data supports a tornado possibly touching down in the area of Carthage Point Road and heading toward the Mississippi River and perhaps crossing toward Vidalia. However, Winesett said the weather service could not confirm a tornado landed until a team surveys the damage.

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Winesett said meteorologists have also received reports of damage in the Cloverdale area.

“Once we go down and survey, we will have a more accurate picture and more data and info on the actual track of a potential tornado,” Winesett said. “It looks like it probably was a tornado, but we just can’t officially say for sure until a team goes down to survey.”

Adams County Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford said early Sunday morning many trees were downed in the southern portion of Adams County, and also in Natchez, causing power outages and blocking some roads.

Bradford said first responders worked to clear the roads so utility service crew vehicles could get in to restore power. As of late morning, Bradford said all of the roads were passible.

“The first responders did a great job — the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue, the Adams County volunteer firefighters and the Adams County Road Department,” Bradford said. “The response was just amazing.”

Bradford said the worst of the damage appeared to be in the Cloverdale community.

Trees were also down in the county on roads including Bourke Road, Carthage Point Road and Lower Woodville Road, Bradford said.

Trees have fallen on some residences, Bradford said.

Bradford said the focus of Sunday was to clear the roads, and today first responders would assess the damage and work to remove debris from the side of the roads.

Bradford said he would also ask the Adams County Board of Supervisors today to sign a disaster proclamation for the county so officials can assist residents with removing trees from private property.

“A lot of individuals have trees on their property, on their houses, and things like that,” Bradford said. “I would just tell people to wait and see and go take pictures of any damage so we will have it on file for state or federal assistance.”

Bradford asked for patience as utility companies worked to restore power. As of approximately 8:30 p.m., Entergy’s website lists no outages in Natchez or Concordia Parish.

However, Cloverdale, which is on the Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association system, was without power and many residents anticipated it could be up to a week or more before power was restored.

Southwest EPA’s automated message lists that some areas could be without power for as many as four days, The company reports additional crews from around the state have come to help out and the company is working hard to restore power.

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy David Hedrick said trees were down in the parish, but all roads were passable. Hedrick said the sheriff’s office had crews and deputies out removing trees all Sunday morning.

Concordia Parish Homeland Security Director Payne Scott said he has received no report of houses being damaged in the parish or of any injuries.

Winesett said the system has moved on from the Natchez area, and Monday and Tuesday look to be sunny days. However, Winesett said another system could be coming through on Wednesday so he urged people to keep an eye on weather reports in the coming days.

The flash flood warning was lifted Sunday morning, but Winesett said a flood warning is still in effect because a lot of rain fell in the Ohio River Valley recently, which could produce floods along the Mississippi River.