One Person Killed as Tornado Tears Through Mississippi

By Anthony Sagliani, Meteorologist
April 13, 2013; 6:22 AM ET
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Play video A look at breaking weather stories across the nation.

During Thursday, a powerful cold front sliced eastward across the South and brought over 100 reports of severe weather stretching from eastern Louisiana and Mississippi into Alabama, even reaching as far north as Tennessee and Kentucky.

One person was killed and several others were injured by flying debris in violent storms Thursday.

Warm and humid air streaming out of the Gulf of Mexico was being lifted by an approaching front from the west. Strong winds aloft gave the developing storms extra energy.

Shortly before noon Thursday, a supercell thunderstorm developed in Kemper County, Miss., about 4 miles northwest of the town of Liberty. This storm spawned a tornado that left one dead and several others injured as a large steel building was demolished.

Kemper County sheriff James Moore reported that the fatality occurred along Highway 493. There was also heavy damage to trees and power poles, the sheriff said, and the storm left up to 4,000 without electricity.

The tornado that spun its path of destruction near the small Mississippi town was part of a swarm of dozens of dangerous storms that blasted through the Southeast Thursday.

A photograph of tornado damage in Mississippi shared on twitter by skeen31.

In Louisiana, the National Weather Service (NWS) sent a survey team of meteorologists to St. Tammany Parish, where another tornado ripped just south of the Slidell Airport.

The survey team determined the tornado was on the weak side of the Enhanced Fujita scale, rating it an EF0 with winds between 65 and 85 mph.

Still, the twister managed to cause plenty of havoc as large trees were snapped and uprooted and thrown onto nearby roadways.

As people took shelter in the path of the storms over the South, crews were searching for people trapped in debris and restoring power.

According to CNN, an indirect storm fatality occurred in Missouri as a worker was electrocuted while trying to restore power.

Large hail was also a common spectacle Thursday as the storms moved through towns like Rockmart, Ga. Ice chunks as large as baseballs fell from the sky, destroying vegetation and damaging vehicles. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.

By the end of the day Thursday, the storms had made it as far east as the western Carolinas.

Gusts as high as 60 mph brought down trees and power lines west of Charlotte, N.C., and west of Columbia, S.C.

During Thursday evening, an F1 tornado caused damage in Lumpkin County, Ga. Seventeen homes were damaged and many trees were downed in the area. There were no reports of injuries with that storm.

Thunderstorms damaged homes and businesses in Virginia early Friday morning. Lightning damaged a home in Fincastle, Va. Thunderstorm winds damaged five buildings in the Hillsville, Va. area.

These storms will push into the eastern Carolinas and southeastern Virginia Friday, with tornadoes, destructive hail and damaging winds possible from Raleigh, N.C., to Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Norfolk, Va.

Cooler and more seasonable weather is expected this weekend, along with plenty of sunshine.

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