A “large, extremely dangerous tornado” made landfall in northeastern Mississippi on Sunday evening as severe weather conditions battered the area.
Residents of at least two towns in the area have woken up to damaged buildings and downed power lines after the Memphis National Weather Service issued a series of tornado warnings.
The “large and extremely dangerous tornado” was on the ground in Sandy Springs in Itawamba County at around 10:30 p.m. local time (11:30 a.m. ET), the weather service said, warning residents to take shelter in what it said. called life threatening situation. “
There was no immediate information on the damage or injuries the tornado could have caused to the city.
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The weather service has also urged residents of Tupelo, about 23 miles southwest of Sandy Springs, and surrounding areas of neighboring Lee County to take shelter due to a “damaging tornado” passing through the city. .
“Tornado emergency for Tupelo!” he tweeted. “Take cover now!”
Social media images from Tupelo showed rooftops of many blown homes and buildings, downed power lines and trees, and streets flooded with debris. The city mayor’s office reported no injuries or deaths.
He said damage had been reported and emergency crews were assessing it.
“Please don’t go out and drive,” the office warned in a Facebook post. “It’s dangerous – there are reports that power lines are down on the roads.”
Earlier Sunday, the office warned the city was “on the way to a severe storm” and storm shelters were being opened.
“Please be in your tornado safe space!” Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton urged on Facebook.
Damage was also reported in the town of Calhoun, about 40 miles southwest of Tupelo.
A third of the city is powerless, according to the county sheriff. Several people were trapped in their homes, Sheriff Greg Pollan told NBC News, and first responders had to extract them. But no injuries were reported, he said.
NBC’s subsidiary WTVA in Tupelo also reported damage in Pontotoc County.
Jackson’s National Weather Service also shared reports on social media of tornadoes near Yazoo City and Byram earlier today.
Joe studley and Caroline radnofsky contributed.