Confirmed tornado in Gulf Park Estates

The winds have died down and the severe weather has moved out of our area for now. Today, the focus turned to damage assessment.
News 25’s Payton Malone joined meteorologists with the National Weather Service as they surveyed the damage and the strength of yesterday’s storm in South Mississippi.
It’s official. National Weather Service meteorologists surveyed Gulf Park Estates and concluded a weak EF Zero tornado moved through the Ocean Springs neighborhood with winds of 85 MPH Wednesday, the weakest grade of tornado on a scale of zero to five.
Determining the strength of tornadoes is a science. NWS Slidell Lead Forecaster Robert Ricks said, “The scale that we use, the enhanced fajita scale, is based off of engineering measures. It’s all basically engineering design and if we have some sort of a failure of structure or a type of tree that is broken then we can determine how strong the winds may have been.”
It started as a water spout before moving on shore along Seacliff Boulevard. The tornado then knocked down trees, power lines, and damaged roofs as it moved north across Pointe Aux Chenes Road. At its widest, the twister was 200 yards wide and continued to move across Gulf Park Estates before eventually dissipating near Ocean Springs Middle School, sparing the school any damage.
Thursday afternoon, the county’s public works trucks were out in full force, as seen off Beachview Drive. National Weather Service meteorologists say that while shingles blown off a roof might look like significant wind damage, tree damage actually indicates stronger winds within a tornado which is exactly what the area saw. “The extent of the damage was mostly fallen trees, snapped trees. The damage to the homes seemed to be that as a result of the trees falling,” said Ricks.
The National Weather Service also surveyed tornado damage in Biloxi near Keesler Air Force Base and Pearl River County. The tornado near Keesler was also rated an EF Zero while the tornado in Pearl River County was rated an EF1.

Categories: Local News, News

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