National Weather Service surveys Kemper County storm damage

By  | 

KEMPER CO., Miss. (WTOK) - Many spots in Kemper County suffered damage from severe storms that rolled through this past weekend. Now the National Weather Service out of Jackson is trying to figure out if the damage was associated with a tornado, and if so, how strong it was.

“We saw a lot of tree damage, a lot of softwood pine trees, some hardwood trees as well, quite a bit of tree damage mostly,” says Felicia Bowser, warning coordination meteorologist for NWS Jackson. Some structural damage to some places as well but we didn’t see a lot of homes destroyed or nothing like that, so it’s mostly tree damage.”

Knowing which trees are softwood or hardwood is used to determine the strength of a tornado, along with other indicators.

“Pine trees for example are softwood, and so it won’t take as large of a wind speed to push that over, verses a hardwood tree, which takes a little bit more, so you need to know your trees a little bit,” Bowser says. “As well as did that tree fall on a structure of a home, or did the roof of a home for example get lifted up?”

The severe storm ripped through the county late at night, emphasizing the need for a Midland NOAA Weather Radio and for people to take other precautions should there be a threat for nighttime tornadoes.

“It doesn’t need to be plugged in, you could just have batteries and you will still get the warnings from us as well through that NOAA Weather Radio,” Bowser explains. “So making sure that you also have shoes next to your bed if you know severe weather is going occur overnight, so that way if damage does occur in your city and you have to go outside, you’re not stepping on glass, or nails, or anything like that, you have the shoes right next to your bed.”

You can download the free WTOK Weather App to get weather alerts directly to your phone.