Published 12:00 am Friday, May 27, 2011

Latest string of storms left fewer signs of passing

By Billy Davis

Panola County dodged severe weather Wednesday night, avoiding menacing tornadoes that had devastated communities in neighboring states just hours earlier.    

Trained weather spotters reported funnel clouds over Panola County but none touched down, said Panola EMA director Daniel Cole.

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Radar at the National Weather Service also indicated rotations, he said.

“We dodged the bullet again,” Cole said.

At least one funnel cloud was spotted in the Pope area, where it was tracked east through the Eureka and Bynum communities.

Despite the threat of dangerous storms, there were no reports of structural damage Thursday morning, Cole told The Panolian.

Some roadways were blocked by downed trees and limbs, which were being cleared by county road department employees, he said.

A two-day flurry of storms in April flooded homes and spawned numerous funnel clouds.  

The severe weather Wednesday triggered two separate tornado warnings, first in the Batesville and Courtland areas.

The second tornado warning covered areas farther south, in the Pope and Enid areas on the county line with Tallahatchie County.

Cole also reported the Wednesday storms triggered the second use of a call-alert system being used by Panola EMA. The automated phone calls reported the tornado warnings, he said.

The system automatically dials all land lines as well as cellular phone numbers that have been added to the call list.

To be included in the call-alert system, contact Panola EMA at 563-6245 or 487-2430.