One person was killed and at least 18 others were injured after a tornado struck the small central Mississippi town of Louin late Sunday night, officials said. The injured were taken to a hospital in the area for treatment, Hudson Jenkins, a spokesperson for Jasper County Emergency Management, told CBS News early Monday morning. At the time, the agency reported between 20 and 30 homes either “majorly affected” or destroyed in the tornado, Jenkins said, adding that damage assessments were scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. central time.
The agency later said in a news release that nearly two dozen people had been injured in Jasper County as a result of the storms and tornado overnight, citing county officials. Around 49,000 were still without power in central Mississippi, according to the agency, which encouraged anyone facing property damage to file an insurance claim, take photographs of the damage and report it to their county authorities or to the state agency itself.
Video footage showed the destruction in Louin in the wake of the tornado, as rescuers hoisted local residents out from beneath piles of debris and loaded them into ambulances, as well as a Hummer after all available ambulances had been used. Fallen trees blocked roadways and homes were missing exterior walls. Lightning, which came with the severe thunderstorm, can be seen on video too.
The tornado touched down around 11:30 p.m. CT on Sunday night, the National Weather Service in Jackson confirmed in a tweet. In addition to Louin, the weather service had previously issued a tornado warning until midnight for the nearby towns of Montrose and Paulding. That initial warning noted the potential threat of a “damaging” twister bringing hail as large as golf balls to the area and advised roughly 4,000 people living within it: “This is a life threatening situation. Seek shelter now!”
In an emergency bulletin posted about an hour after officials detected the twister on the ground in Mississippi, the Jackson weather service warned of wind gusts that could potentially reach 60 miles per hour. A severe thunderstorm warning was already active in the region late Sunday and into Monday, for parts of Jasper County and Clarke County in east-central Mississippi. Damage to vehicles from hail, then described as “half dollar size,” as well as wind damage to roofs, siding and trees was expected, the weather service said.