NWS says tornado hit Chickasaw County

1STOCK Severe Weather tornadoHOUSTON – The National Weather Service was called to survey damage from a Thursday night storm and determined a tornado apparently hit Northeast Chickasaw County.
The storm swept through about 10 p.m. Thursday on County Road 135 west of Okolona. There were no National Weather Service alert or warning issued for this storm.
“It uprooted a lot of trees and damaged two houses, a mobile home and a chicken farm,” said Linda Griffin, Director of Chickasaw County Emergency Management Agency. “We went out and did an initial survey Friday morning and called the National Weather Service who sent someone down from Memphis.”
Griffin said the tornado apparently did not touch down, but storm damage indicated it was a tornado and not a straight-line wind.
“They looked at the way the trees were twisted off and they did not all fall in one direction,” said Griffin. “The National Weather Service guy estimated it as an F1 tornado with winds of about 100 miles per hour.”
At about the same time, a lightning strike is believed to have prompted a power outage that put people across Chickasaw County in the dark.
Natchez Trace Electric Power Association customers in Houston are fed TVA power by substations in Okolona and Calhoun City and the problem was first noted in Okolona.
“We had a relay trip in Okolona about 9:10 p.m. it blinked a couple of time and we got it back on,” said James Pettit, Natchez Trace EPA superintendent of substations. “Then it blinked again about 10:20 p.m and was off for a while.”
Pettit said they suspect a lightning strike but were still assessing the situation Friday morning.
The outage affected all of Houston and an area stretching from just south of Mantee to just north of Houlka in Pontotoc County. Okolona was not affected by the outage.
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