Tornado leaves Clay County with downed trees, broken telephone poles, other major damage

WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) – Clay County Emergency Management and members of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency are in the midst of assessing the damage left by Tuesday’s tornado.

Clay County was one of the 12 counties across Mississippi where homes suffered storm damage, according to MEMA.

The areas around Barton Ferry Road and Concord Road took the worst of the damage.

“The wind picked the camper up and took it into the cars towards the house,” says West Point resident Don Watts, who was sheltering inside with his family. “If the cars hadn’t been there, it would have went through the house and there’s no telling how we would have come out.”

Close calls like that were all too common as the EF-1 tornado wreaked havoc across the area.

“We’ve seen major damage as far as trees down, power poles that were snapped,” says Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott. “We did see a lot of houses damaged either from minor damage or heavy damage.”

Bill Bryan says the tornado touched down before his grandson Ty Freeman could even make it inside their storm shelter.

“I couldn’t see much of anything,” Freeman says. “I was just holding on to the strap of the storm shelter, trying to hold on. I saw stuff flying.”

Sheriff Scott says that while no injuries have been reported at this time, there is still widespread damage.

“My trampoline is straddling the fence next door and my four-wheeler and more flipped over and are blowing all over the place,” Watts says. “Trees are everywhere.”

Watts says his two cars are buried under the debris of what used to be his camper.

“My whole backyard, my roof, everything has holes in it,” he says. “It’s pretty bad.”

“The whole roof (of the house) was sheeted with metal and it peeled most of that off,” Bryan says. “About half of it off.”

Several residents in West Point told WCBI that while they do have their electricity back, they were experiencing water line issues as well.

“Some areas right now are still blocked because of the downed trees and the power lines,” Sheriff Scott says.

As emergency management teams continue to sort through the aftermath, residents aren’t hesitating to lend their neighbor a hand or bulldozer to clean up the debris.

“Everybody helping everybody. That’s what communities do. Hard times come through, roll with it, do what you can and keep it moving.”

Clay County residents that need to report storm damage should call the EMA office at 662-494-5154.

They can also click here to go to the online self-reporting portal.

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