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State officials watching gathering storm clouds

tornado noxubeeEmergency management personnel statewide are watching the skies, hoping that the Magnolia State doesn’t see the devastation and fatalities already recorded from a robust storm system that is making its way here.

The official tally so far is 16 dead in Arkansas and one dead in Oklahoma from strong tornadoes. The tornado in Arkansas left an 80-mile path of destruction, barreling through the Little Rock suburb of Vilonia. Officials there suspect the tornado was at least an EF3.

The fatality in Oklahoma was in Quapaw. The tornado subsequently crossed into Kansas, destroying 60-70 homes and leaving 25 people injured.

There was also a suspected tornado in Northwest Louisiana near Plain Dealing.

Here in Mississippi, forecasters say up to five inches of rain and large hail are possible along and north of the Interstate 20 corridor.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Latham warned residents yesterday to be prepared for storms with “the potential to be very violent.”

The weather service is forecasting a 70 percent chance of rain today, mostly after 1 p.m. Storms are expected to intensify between 7:30 p.m. today and 7:30 a.m. tomorrow.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency was scheduled to get a weather update at 10 a.m. today.

The Mississippi Business Journal will be at MEMA this morning to get the latest on any storm impacts and responses.


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