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Twister strikes Mississippi town

A tornado damaged more than 150 homes in this Jackson suburb about 9 p.m. Thursday, said Amy Carruth, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

BY TRAVIS DUNN | BRANDON, Miss. | April 25, 2003

A tornado damaged more than 150 homes in this Jackson suburb about 9 p.m. Thursday, said Amy Carruth, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. Carruth said one person was hospitalized for minor injuries and about 20 others were treated at the scene.

Thursday night's storm damaged several downtown businesses as well as the Brandon Elementary School, Carruth said. The school was closed Friday.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Butch said the twister registered as an F3 on the Fugita scale, with wind speeds between 158 and 206 mph. Butch said the path of the tornado was 12 miles long and 600 yards wide.

Workers from The Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and American Red Cross worked alongside local, county and state emergency management officials Friday in an attempt to clean up the extensive damage, she said.

The Red Cross set up a shelter at the Crossgates United Methodist Church Thursday night, although no one left homeless by the storm made use of the shelter. Red Cross worker Patty Cross said she was preparing the shelter for people who might decide to stay over the weekend. Other Red Cross workers were bringing meals to storm survivors and relief workers.

In the spring of 1992, Brandon was hit by a tornado that killed eight people and followed a similar path to last night's storm.

Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove declared a state of emergency for four counties last night after high winds, heavy rain and flash flooding struck the area.

The National Weather Service was also investigating reports of a tornado touching down in northeast Louisiana as well as Greene County Alabama. One small tornado, measuring F0 on the Fujita scale, was confirmed in Clinton, Miss., a western suburb of Jackson.

The NWS also determined that a minor tornado knocked down a few trees in the town of Auburn in the Florida panhandle on Friday morning. The rest of the panhandle was under a tornado watch Friday morning, and another watch was in effect in Alabama Friday afternoon.


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