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Confirmed tornado destroys mobile home in Centreville

By SCOTT HAWKINS and BEN HILLYER

THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT

CENTREVILLE — Family members say they feel blessed, even though a tornado destroyed their mobile home on Gaulden-Clinton Road south of Centreville Sunday night.

Peter Lollis said he, his wife and two children had decided to go out to eat in Zachary, Louisiana, before the storm hit at 6:37 p.m. Sunday.

“We left an hour before the storm,” Lollis said. “After the storm passed through, neighbors called us to tell us (of the news) and we raced back to see the damage.”

Lollis said if it wasn’t for a tree, the mobile home and all of its contents could have been scattered across several acres of the family’s land. The winds picked up the mobile home and wrapped it around the tree.

“It looks like the tornado damage started in this area and went north,” Lollis said.

North of Lollis’ property a line of trees were bent over and snapped into pieces.

Lollis said another family member’s house nearby suffered significant tree damage.

Lollis said his family would stay with a family member until they can rebuild.

Family members spent most of the morning sifting through what was left of the house, collecting wedding pictures and other mementoes.

“Like I told my wife, we can rebuild,” Lollis said. “I just thank God that we were not there when it happened.”

Officials from the National Weather Service in New Orleans/Baton Rouge office confirmed the tornado as an EF-1 with winds between 95-110 mph.

“Law enforcement reported a tornado touchdown at 6:37 p.m. and they reported some tree damage and mobile home damage in Centerville,” said Freddie Zeigler, a NWS meteorologist for New Orleans/Baton Rouge.

Zeigler said a team of meteorologists from Slidell spent most of the day in Centerville assessing the tornado’s path and issued the following report:

“A tornado initially touched down about 5 miles south of Centreville,” the NWS report states, “and tracked northward for almost 2 miles. A dozen or more trees were snapped or uprooted along its path. A mobile home was rolled off its foundation and wrapped around a large tree. The mobile home was unoccupied at the time. A number of power lines and several power poles were snapped. Path length was 1.75 miles. Path width was 125 yards. Rated EF1. Maximum winds estimated at 105 mph.”

Wilkinson County Emergency Management director Mattie L. Powell said she also received reports Monday morning of trees down and a house with damage on Pinckneyville Road in Woodville

“It took off some tin and part of a porch on (a woman’s) house,” Powell said.

Zeigler said Wilkinson County residents reported the damage to the NWS between 5 p.m. and 5:11 p.m. Sunday.

“Around 5 o’clock there was a funnel cloud near Woodville,” Zeigler said, “and this was received from the public as a possible funnel cloud and lowering clouds. We also had reports about 5:10 of hail, 1 inch, and that was reported in Woodville. At 5:11 we also had a report of wind damage. Multiple trees down. That was near Pinckneyville and that was in Wilkinson County, 15 miles west of Woodville.”

Zeigler said the damage on Pinckneyville Road was not being attributed to a tornado.