Damage from tornado in Petal

Tropical Storm Harvey has generated multiple tornadoes in Mississippi and has also created bands of strong winds that have damaged homes and toppled some trees.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that one of the tornadoes touched down in Petal, Mississippi, less than eight months after a twister tore about several public schools, houses, and businesses in the area.
What started out as a normal day for Randy Ingram at work at a NAPA Auto Care Center turned deadly in a matter of moments as a tornado ripped down Central Avenue in Petal. “You just see the funnel start coming down and it just sucked everything from around the streets and everything up, water, limbs, rocks, and started forming a funnel like you see in the movie ‘Twister’ at the end. Everything was just straight spiraling up.”
Employees of the auto care center said they only had moments to prepare before they came face to face with the tornado. “I kind of pulled myself in closer and it started to pull me back out and I didn’t know what else to do, just held on. It actually sucked in parts off my toolbox and everything else and just flew right by me and sent the tires off the tire rack like a pitching machine. I mean, I’m talking about they were flying off there.”
Scary moments also for the people who live in the house right next to the auto repair shop, as a tree crashed into the roof of their home. The entire scene and weather scenario flooded residents’ minds with images from the twister earlier this year.
Although the Petal School District did not see any damage this time around, in January they were not so lucky. Petal School District Superintendent Dr. Matthew Dillon said, “Last school year, we dealt with this as well. So, it’s fresh on our minds still. So, you always err on the side of caution in anything that we do because we take safety very seriously here and we want to make sure our staff and students are all safe.”
This time around, Petal schools escaped untouched, but it will be a time for rebuilding for businesses in the small town of Petal. In the wake of the damage, they are counting their blessings and just happy to be alive to tell the tale of the twister that tore through this part of town, right in front of their very eyes.

Categories: Local News, News

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