Monday, January 24, 2022

Mother’s Day Storm Wreaks Havoc Across Lafayette County

Sunday night’s storm knocked over a tree behind the Turner Center on the Ole Miss campus. Photo by Chuck Wicker.

It was still unknown this morning whether a tornado actually touched down in the Philadelphia area of Lafayette County Sunday night.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning at 6:45 p.m. for north east Lafayette County.

“There were reports of people spotting a funnel cloud,” said Capt. Alan Wilburn with the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department. “We cannot confirm seeing one.”

A meteorologist at the NWS said this morning that they did not have confirmation of an actual tornado, but that storm investigators were currently in Tennessee assessing the damage caused by the line of severe storms Sunday night.

The sky above North Lamar Blvd. at about 6:30 p.m.
Photo by Alyssa Schnugg

A tornado warning can be issued when rotation is spotted in the clouds and does not necessarily mean a tornado funnel cloud will form and/or touch down on the ground.

But tornado or no tornado, the Mother’s Day storms still wreaked havoc on Lafayette County.

Several trees were knocked down, taking down powerlines with them in the county.

The sheriff’s department reported trees down on county roads 204, 249, 263, 251, 215, 229, 421, 287, 271 and on Highways 30, 34, 315, and 328.

Three trees fell on homes and about 49 roads were blocked, according to the sheriff’s department.

At one point during the night, around 7,000 people were without power in Lafayette County, according to the North East Mississippi Electric Power Association.

The storm knocked down dozens of trees and power lines across Lafayette County. Photo via NEMEPA.

At 11 a.m., about 850 homes were still without power.

“Lafayette County deputies, Road Department crews and North East Power Association worked throughout the night to clear roadways and restore power,” Wilburn said. “There are still some residents without power but power is being quickly restored.”

On the University of Mississippi, porta-potties and the left-field ticket booth were blown over. Lightning struck a tree and at least two trees were toppled during the storm.


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