TUPELO, Miss. — A tornado struck Tupelo, Mississippi, late Sunday as storms swept through the area, officials said.
According to WHBQ-TV, a large tornado was reported about 9 p.m. local time near Houlka in northwestern Chickasaw County. Officials issued a Particularly Dangerous Situation tornado warning as the twister entered southeastern Pontotoc County about 9:15 p.m., then continued into Lee County at 9:45 p.m., the TV station reported.
Shortly before 10 p.m., the National Weather Service in Memphis declared a tornado emergency for Tupelo, where the twister swept through the city’s west and north sides, WHBQ reported.
Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton’s office said in a Facebook post that damage had been reported in the city.
“Emergency crews are currently assessing the degree of damage,” the post read. “Please do not get out and drive. It is dangerous – there are reports that power lines are down in the roads. We will update you as soon as we know the extent of damage. Prayers that all are safe, and please keep our crews and first responders in your prayers also.”
In another post, Calhoun County Sheriff Greg Pollan said Calhoun City was “hit hard.”
“Light poles have been snapped off. Trees in a few homes. Trees on vehicles. Damage to several businesses. Fortunately, we have had no reports at this time of injuries,” he wrote. “We are asking that you PLEASE STAY OFF THE ROADS AT THIS TIME. Emergency personnel are working feverishly to open the roads as quickly as possible.”
No further information about possible injuries or the extent of the damage was immediately available.