The Latest: Official: Tornado in Columbus, Mississippi
The Latest on severe weather in the South (all times local):
Authorities say a tornado has touched down in the city of Columbus, Mississippi.
Meteorologist Anna Wolverton with the National Weather Service told The Associated Press that a tornado hit about 5 p.m. CST Saaturday and was confirmed on radar.
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There were no immediate reports of any injuries.
Wolverton says she received a report that an emergency operations center in Columbus was hit by the storm and that power was lost in some areas. She says she doesn’t know how long the tornado was on the ground, the path it took or its intensity.
Speaking from the weather service office in Jackson, Mississippi, she added that a team of experts would be heading to Columbus on Sunday to determine the storm’s size and strength.
Columbus is a city of more than 23,000 people in east Mississippi.
Homes, highways, parks and bridges throughout the South have been flooded or put out of commission as days of rains have drench a wide area amid severe storms crossing the region.
Interstate 40 near the Tennessee line with North Carolina was closed by a rockslide, one of the dozens of roads and highways shut down throughout the South region, transportation officials said.
Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Nagi said on Twitter that a “full scale detour” was in place, with traffic being diverted to Interstate 81 and Interstate 26.
In Bruce, Mississippi, rivers broke flood stage and flash floods poured into homes and businesses. News outlets report that a local state of emergency was declared by officials in Grenada, Mississippi, after dozens of streets and homes flooded. A six-mile (nine-kilometer) stretch of the Natchez Trace Parkway was closed in Mississippi after water covered part of the road.