Danny Manley of the Pearl River County EMA says, "Probably 300 yards wide. It was a wide tornado as well. It was short lived. The wind had to be at least 90 mph in this storm."
As if Pearl River County hadn't been through enough weather related destruction in the past few months, the National Weather Service is confirming that an EF-1 tornado touched down around 5 p.m. Sunday. "The EF-1 tornado probably in the five years I've been the director I haven't seen a tornado do that much damage in my five years except for the Christmas day tornado"
Fortunately no one was hurt during Sunday's storm, however says county officials have become quite battle hardened lately in the wake of what started with a hurricane. "Hurricane Isaac came through caused a lot of damage. Two hundred homes had water in them and we had a lot of evacuations, swift water rescues"
If that wasn't enough the Pearl River County took the brunt of a holiday weather event . "The Christmas day tornados which really was a new dynamic, we haven't seen a tornado of that magnitude in this area in years," Manley says.
The December 25th tornado was classified as an EF-3, long track tornado, which leveled many homes and caused widespread damage just outside McNeil. Director Manley says through the course of these storms the EMA has been able to apply valuable lessons that will benefits safety for future events.
Director Manley says, "The thing about having these disasters is that our agency is getting really seasoned. Everybody knows our plans and sometimes a lot of places will have plans, but until you actually get to use the plan you're not sure how well it works, you haven't got all the kinks worked out"