An apparent tornado hit eastern Mississippi on Thursday afternoon, killing at least one person and causing widespread damage, officials said.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said one person died in Kemper County. The tornado hit there and in Noxubee County before moving into Alabama, damaging buildings and knocking out power Flynn said.
It was not immediately clear how many people may have been hurt or how severely they were injured. However, Tabatha Lott, a dispatcher in Noxubee County, said there were “numerous reports of injuries” in the town of Shuqualak. She said ambulances were on their way.
Jared Allen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said a tornado appeared to have formed briefly in a storm approaching Hattiesburg. He said there’s still a danger of strong, straight-line winds hitting the area.
Allen said there are also reports that high-voltage power lines were knocked down 5 miles south of Macon on U.S. Highway 45. Such power lines are typically built on steel trusses, he said.
“If those are taken down, then that’s usually an indication of pretty strong storm,” Allen said.