Severe weather has been passing through in several parts of our state. Governor Phil Bryant earlier declared a state of emergency. A tornado hit Tupelo, Mississippi Monday afternoon. The twister roared through the western part of the city. Several tractor-trailers were reportedly blown off of the road at the busy intersection of U.S. 78 and U.S. 45 in Tupelo, and a tornado emergency was issued by the National Weather Service. Damage reports have started coming in. We have reports of three tornados touching down in Tupelo. One person is trapped and there is extensive damage to the area.
So far, our area hasn't seen any severe weather, but emergency responders are on standby just in case. Workers at the American Red Cross were at their headquarters on Debuys Road in Biloxi. Local Red Cross officials say that it’s most likely they will be sending volunteers to assist in the aftermath of the Tupelo tornado. At this point, the local chapter is waiting for the severe weather to pass the area before any volunteers are sent.
Jay Huffstatler with the American Red Cross says, “First to do is we’ll be able to open up a shelter in areas that have been impacted for folks to come in and see and have a warm, safe, dry place to stay. Then we’ll send out disaster assessment teams who’ll be able to access the damage in those pockets of different residential areas and things like that to be able to make sure that our client case workers can go into those areas as well as our emergency response vehicles to provide food, cleanup kits, water, and things of that nature.” The local south Mississippi chapter is one of five chapters in the state that responds to disaster situations.