December 26, 2013 9:20:45 AM
JACKSON -- The National Weather Service confirms at least five tornadoes struck Mississippi as a storm system moved across the state Friday and Saturday.
Meteorologists said tornadoes rated EF-2 on the enhanced Fujita scale hit Coahoma and Bolivar counties Saturday.
The Coahoma County tornado killed John Sanders when it flipped a Rena Lara mobile home. It had an estimated maximum wind speed of 120 mph, and a track that stretched for 10.4 miles, with a maximum width of 300 yards.
Storms in Coahoma County also damaged the roof of the Coahoma County school district central office and an outbuilding at Coahoma Community College.
The other EF-2 twister started in Chicot County, Ark., tracking for 41 miles across Deshla County, Ark., and Bolivar County before dissipating northwest of Cleveland. The tornado flipped two 18-wheel trucks on U.S. 65 near Dermott, Ark., causing two minor injuries. It also damaged homes, farm buildings and the roof of the Yellow Bend port facility near Arkansas City. The tornado also damaged farm buildings in Bolivar County.
An EF-1 tornado with winds of up to 100 mph hit Panola and Tate counties southwest of Senatobia. Cutting a 6.2 mile path with a maximum width of 200 yards, the storm. Related weather damage was reported in Senatobia and in the Independence community.
A thunderstorm Friday produced EF-0 tornadoes in Claiborne and Hinds counties. A twister with peak winds of 70 mph set down near where Fisher Ferry Road crosses the Big Black River near the Claiborne County crossroads of Reganton.
The half-mile track damaged some trees. Shortly afterward, another small tornado with maximum winds of 65 mph touched down even more briefly near Newman in Hinds County, also causing tree damage.
In Jasper County, two people died after their vehicle struck a tree blown into the road. Bryan Harrington, a 31-year-old Paulding resident, died at the scene. Nicole Tiede, a 23-year-old Bay Springs resident, died from injuries Sunday at South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel. A 1-year-old infant was released from the hospital to family members Monday, WDAM-TV reported.
At least 15 counties reported damage from the outbreak to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.