The tornado that touched down in Yazoo County Sunday caused a fair amount of property damage. Luckily there are no known injuries, but six families had their homes destroyed or heavily damaged.
The Vicksburg Daily News followed the funnel cloud from Eagle Bend at Eagle Lake to eastern Yazoo County. The live video we captured of the tornado forming has been viewed and shared nationwide. As the Vicksburg Daily News was following the funnel cloud, Warren County Emergency Management people along with Warren County Fire Fighters, were there every step of the way.
They were also tracking the storm and responding to numerous reports of the funnel cloud from Eagle Bend to Floweree to IP to Yazoo.
It was in Yazoo County that the skills of our local emergency response team became apparent.
Jack Willingham is in charge of Emergency Management in Yazoo County. He has been building a team there for a few years now and they’ve come a long way. They have some very nice new equipment, including a Rescue type vehicle that Warren County sorely needs. The dozens of responders in Yazoo swarmed the county reporting damage, checking on residents and providing first hand, up-to-the-minute data to Willingham and Yazoo County Sheriff Jacob Sheriff.
Every call that came over the radio was plotted on a table-sized map. Over a short period of time, a probable path of the tornado was discovered. Willingham and his team then dispatched units to neighborhoods in the path of the tornado that had yet to be checked by emergency response teams.
It was brilliant management of resources and an efficient way to manage the response.
Warren County’s John Elfer along with Fire Boss Jerry Briggs, E-911 Director Shane Garrard and always on the scene Lee Williams followed the storm from northwestern Warren County to far eastern Yazoo County. They all worked to assist Willingham and his team. Garrard, Williams and Elfer were in the field using their skills to assess the damage and check residences while Briggs teamed up with the Sheriff and Willingham to direct operations.
By 7 p.m. there were over 100 people from Yazoo and Warren County checking every home and road on the path of the tornado. Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace sent a team of six deputies to assist the effort.
By 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Willingham, Sheriff and Briggs were comfortable that every residence in the path had been visited and the first phase of the response could be closed. From here, an assessment will be made of property damage.
Twin County Electric Power has advised power may be out for several days for some residents.