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Easter Sunday storm fatalities in Mississippi climb to 14



Damage in Walthall County from Sunday's storms. (Image source: MEMA)

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has confirmed another two deaths from the Easter Sunday tornadoes, bring the death toll to 14 in the state.

In a Twitter post around noon Thursday, MEMA said the two additional fatalities occurred in Walthall and Jones counties.

Counties reporting fatalities are:

  • Carroll – 1 fatality
  • Jefferson Davis – 4 fatalities
  • Jones – 4 fatalities
  • Lawrence – 2 fatalities
  • Panola – 1 fatality
  • Walthall – 2 fatalities

The two biggest tornadoes left devastation for miles on the ground. The first, an EF-4, started in Jefferson Davis County and tracked for about 68 miles. Its maximum width was at least two miles. The second, an EF-3, started in Lawrence County and continued for about 82.5 miles. Its maximum width was one mile.

Putting it into perspective, the widest tornado ever surveyed was the May 31, 2013 tornado near El Reno, Okla., at 2.6 miles wide, MEMA said.

The homes damaged in the storm number 1,206. Hardest hit were residents of Covington County, where 352 homes were damaged, and Jones County, where 328 homes were hit.

MEMA is continuing to assess the damage from the storms, and these numbers could change.


Wingstop coming to Vicksburg



A job listing on an internet job site indicates a Wingstop will be coming to Vicksburg soon. has listing for all positions, including a general manager, for a local store.

Wingstop is a chicken wing restaurant with a wide selection of side items including VooDoo fries. It was started in Garland, Texas, in 1994 and has expanded to over 1,500 restaurants according to the website. The chain has locations worldwide including in the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

The closest Wingstop to Vicksburg is in Clinton. The Starkville location is owned by a franchise called Boss Wings. The staff at that location could not confirm the Vicksburg location and calls to corporate management were not returned.

Jeff Richardson, city planning director, confirmed Wingstop had applied for a building permit earlier this week.

“I believe it was Tuesday,” he said. “It seems like they are going into an existing structure.”

Richardson did not disclose the location but indicated the new Wingstop would be in a strip mall area. There is no indication of the opening date but the job listings would indicate in the next three to five months.



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USACE to begin maintenance work at Sardis Lake



Heron on Sardis Lake. (Photo by Atuuschaaw - Own work, CC BY-S. A 3.0,

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District announces that maintenance work will begin at the Engineer Point boat ramp at Sardis Lake Monday, Nov. 30.

Engineer Point is one of the busiest boat ramps in north Mississippi and provides year-round access to Sardis Lake. The area has been submerged and damaged several times during high water periods in the last several years.

Contractors will repair the shoreline and parking lot at the lower boat ramp. Maintenance is not expected to interrupt visitor access, but visitors should be cautious and watch for equipment and workers in the area. The work is expected to last several months.

The public will be notified of any forthcoming changes to access to the area. For more information or questions about recreation closures, please contact the Sardis Lake Field Office at 662-563-4531.

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Mississippi reports 1,005 new COVID-19 cases Friday, 12 in Warren County



The rate of new VOVID-19 cases has begun to drop in America’s Midwest for the first time in about two months, although the raw numbers are still much higher than they have been since the beginning of the crises. The nation’s hot spots are shifting from Wisconsin and the Dakotas to California, Texas and big East Coast and southern cities such as Baltimore and Miami.

The national seven-day average of new cases is about 165,000. While still incredibly high, it’s down from nearly 180,000 per day in the past week. At least 1,178 people died of the virus on Thanksgiving day.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported another day of more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases Friday.

In Warren County, MSDH reported 12 new COVID-19 case Friday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,753, and the county’s death toll is 57.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,005 new COVID-19 cases Friday bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 148,387. The seven-day average of new cases is 1,137 per day, about 381 cases higher than the seven-day average a month ago and on par with numbers seen in July.

At the beginning of the crises, the age group with the most COVID-19 cases were those over 65. Now, most new cases are seen in younger people who are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. In September, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi were 18 to 24 years old. That has shifted to a slightly older group. In November, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are from 25 to 39 years old followed by those 50 to 64 years old.

Source: MSDH

MSDH reported Friday that six more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,769. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.5%. This rate has dropped as the number of cases are going up faster than the number of deaths at this time.

Deaths are a lagging indicator. While July saw the highest number of new cases since the crisis began, August saw the highest number of deaths. The highest number of deaths in any one day in Mississippi was 67 reported Aug. 25.

The six deaths MSDH reported Friday occurred between Nov.25 and Nov. 26 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Friday
Desoto 3
Lamar 1
Panola 1
Quitman 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26. MSDH usually reports statistics on the COVID-19 coronavirus each day based on the previous day’s testing and death reports.

The primary metric concerning state health officials are the numbers of people hospitalized, and that number rose steadily with the rise of new cases in July and August. On June 6, the number of Mississippians hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at 358. Hospitalizations tripled by late July.

Hospitalizations then steadily dropped through Oct. 3 when they began rising again along with increased cases. The last week in October, hospitalizations began levelling off; however, since Nov. 4 hospitals have seen a steady rise in COVID-19 patients once again.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, was 1,039, about 87% of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 942 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 97 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 245 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 113 were on ventilators.

Source: MSDH

MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 121,637 through Sunday, Nov. 22. It represents about 82% of the cumulative 148,387 cases reported as of Friday, Nov. 27.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Friday, Nov. 6, was 1,606, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,549, or about 88.4% of the 1,753 cumulative cases reported as of Friday, Nov. 27. The county has an estimated 147 active cases.

These estimates are based on MSDH’s guidelines for calculating estimated recoveries when hospitalizations are not known, using the number of cases 21 days ago, less known outcomes (deaths).

The total number of Mississippians tested for COVID-19 (PCR and antigen tests identifying current infections) as of Saturday, Nov. 21, is 1,237,802 or about 41.6% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. MSDH reports statewide test results once a week. Without daily updated numbers of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average); however, the estimated rate was 17.6% Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 9.5%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 193 Friday, the same number as Thursday. About 37.9%, or 1,430, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in LTC facilities is 7,586, about 5.1% of the state’s total cases.

A total of 26 deaths in Warren County were residents of LTC facilities.

MSDH is no longer reporting outbreaks in individual long-term care facilities in Mississippi and has replaced it with access to a database from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. You can access and search the data by provider here. The latest data available is for the week ending Nov. 15.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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