National Weather Service finds tornadoes were part of storm system that crossed Mississippi

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JACKSON, Mississippi — At least two tornadoes and heavy rainstorms in Mississippi destroyed a mobile home, partially tore a roof off a house, and left a truck driver injured after he drove into a downed tree, state officials said Wednesday.

National Weather Service surveyors found evidence of twisters in Scott and Hinds counties Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Ten counties statewide reported damage, with buildings damaged in Scott, Leake, Lowndes and Warren counties.

On Line Prairie Road northwest of Morton, Rodney Cumberland was asleep in bed around midnight when the storm took part of a metal roof off his house.

"It got to shaking the whole house," Cumberland said Wednesday. "It just woke us up with a lot of roaring. It lasted less than a minute."

Cumberland said he stayed up the rest of the night combating water that was pouring into his kitchen and dining room. The storms accompanying a cold front were copious rainmakers, dumping 3 inches of water across much of the state except for the Gulf Coast.

The tornado that hit Cumberland's house started west of Morton and pushed north across nearly 9 miles of Scott County to near Forkville. It also destroyed a mobile home next to Cumberland's house and a chicken house, said Anna Wolverton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson. Top winds were 109 mph, with a path as wide as 500 yards.

Wolverton said surveyors also found evidence of a twister southeast of Edwards in Hinds County. Estimated top winds of 100 mph uprooted trees along a 2-mile path.

Both tornadoes were rated EF-1, the lowest measurement on the enhanced Fujita scale.

Wolverton said it was likely that surveyors from the Jackson office would find more evidence of tornadoes.

Zach Maye, a forecaster in the Memphis, Tennessee, office, said Weather Service officials were awaiting photos of damage in Pontotoc County before deciding whether to send a survey crew there.

Winston County Emergency Management Director Buddy King said a man driving an 18-wheel truck ran into a tree on Mississippi 19 near its junction with Mississippi 25. The man, whom King did not identify, was not seriously injured, but went to Winston Medical Center in Louisville for treatment. For Winston County residents, the storm was an unwelcome reminder of the 2013 tornado that killed 10 and destroyed hundreds of buildings in the county.

"There's a lot of raw emotions and a lot of anxiety associated with these events," King said.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said no other injuries were reported statewide. More than 9,000 electrical customers lost power.

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