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6 killed as Tornado hits Mississippi today ahead of Christmas

tornado-clarksdale-mississippi
Tornado spotted near Clarksdale, Mississippi (Twitter user @FullMetalSquid)
Severe storm system in parts of the South and Midwest United States claimed lives of at least six  people on Wednesday, bringing several tornadoes in Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi and Tennessee. 

Three people died in Mississippi; two in Benton County and One in Marshall County. Tornado shelters have been established in Harmony Baptist Church in Walnut (Tippah Co.) and Clarksdale Auditorium in Clarksdale (Coahoma Co.). The State Emergency Operations Center has been partially activated with key agencies to assist with the response.

A large tornado slammed Clarksdale, Mississippi and appeared to be on the ground for about ten minutes. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency received damage reports from six counties from severe weather/tornadoes that struck Wednesday afternoon. At least three injuries have been reported. 

mississippi-tornado-damage-track
 A preliminary damage track from violent tornado today (NWS Memphis, Tennessee Office)
Benton County
  • Cars damaged along Miss. Highway 5 near the town of Ashland.
  • Miss. Highway 5 is closed.
Coahoma County 
  • Damage to homes and the airport near the city of Clarksdale.
  • At least one injury.
Marshall County 
  • Homes damaged and powerlines down near Miss. Highway 4 and Miss. Highway 7 near the city of Holly Springs.
  • Highway 7 is closed.
  • Search and rescue is being performed.
Panola County
  • Homes damaged near the town of Sardis.
  • At least two injuries.
  • Miss Highway 315 between Sledge and Sardis is blocked while crews remove storm debris.
Quitman County
  • Damage to homes.
Tippah County
  • Damage to areas near the Brownsville community.

Tornado in Arkansas killed an 18-year-old woman and trapped a 1-year-old child inside. The child was rescued later.

tornado-damage-mississippi-today
Tornado damage in Coahoma County, Mississippi (CBS News/WREG)
Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has confirmed two fatalities in Perry County. According to the Gov. Bill Haslem's office, State of emergency has been declared in Tennessee as a result of storms.

As of late afternoon, there had been 12 reports of tornadoes, USA Today reported quoting the Storm Prediction Center, in Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi and Tennessee. Tornado watches remained in effect from southern Mississippi to central Indiana.

Last year in December, a state of emergency was declared after tornadoes in Mississippi claimed lives of four people.

Weather Forecast from Storm Prediction Center


An Enhanced Risk of Severe Thunderstorms is Forecast Today and/or Tonight

The greatest risk for a few strong tornadoes exists this evening across parts of middle Tennessee, adjacent extreme southern Kentucky, and parts of northern Alabama and northeast Mississippi. Otherwise, strong to severe storms will persist this evening into tonight across portions of the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys and central Gulf Coast states.

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