Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms left at least six people with injuries this week, while thousands of Mississippi homes and businesses remain without power today.
MEMA Chief Communications Officer Malary White told the Mississippi Free Press that compared to last week’s severe weather, this storm cut a much wider swath of damage.
“We’re seeing more statewide damage this time around than we did see last week,” White said. “Last week it was more so central-north Mississippi, but we’re getting reports all the way down to the coast.”
The latest data from MEMA show at least nine tornadoes across the state, as observed by National Weather Service stations in Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. At least 32 counties have reported significant damage to homes and businesses. Panola County reported 57 damaged homes, the highest of any county so far, though many counties reported damaged homes in the double digits. Businesses and farms suffered as well, with Attala County reporting damage to at least 10 farms.
Drone footage shows the devastation to homes and businesses across Tallahatchie, Bolivar, Warren and Greene counties. Another video shows overturned vehicles and scattered debris across Forrest and Hinds counties.
The storm caused upward of 57,000 power outages across the state, though that number is now below 4,000 as of April 1. White noted that compared to previous years, power-outage response times have been improving.
“It seems like the response time is getting better; it just continues to improve,” White said. “They worked very quickly to get power back on the way that they did.”
Yesterday's storms brought widespread reports of wind damage and at least several tornadoes. Here's a preliminary look at storm reports sent in already. If you know of damage, please send us a report, picture, and time of damage. Thanks! #lawx #mswx #arwx pic.twitter.com/sxIIXkDOt6
— NWS Jackson MS (@NWSJacksonMS) March 31, 2022
Nonetheless, danger from storm damage continues after the inclement weather passes. White urged residents to use caution when walking around areas with damage and debris.
“We have downed power lines, (and) we had massive power outages, so just be safe and aware if you’re walking around those types of areas where power lines are down, and then just also be aware of nails that may be on the ground,” White said. “Just be aware of the debris that may still be lingering around and hasn’t been cleaned up yet.”
MEMA urges all affected residents to take photos of any property damage and to file insurance claims. The organization offers a self-reporting tool available here to ensure accurate damage reports.White urged any residents in need of resources, such as tarps to cover storm damage, to contact the MEMA call center at 1-800-445-6362.