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Photos: Deadly EF3 tornado devastates Columbus, Mississippi, downtown area while flooding inundates Tennessee, Kentucky

By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
February 26, 2019, 10:47:53 AM EST

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Broken lumber, loose paneling, insulation and destroyed pews are all that remains of the First Pentecostal Church Sunday morning, Feb. 24, 2019 after a tornado Saturday in Columbus, Mississippi.

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

A child plays around the podium that was virtually undamaged or moved in the tornado that destroyed First Pentecostal Church in Columbus, Mississippi, Sunday morning, Feb. 24, 2019.

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Downed telephone poles on 15th Street in Columbus, Mississippi, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, following Saturday's tornado.

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Broken lumber, loose paneling, insulation and destroyed pews are all that remain of the First Pentecostal Church in Columbus, Mississippi, Sunday morning, Feb. 24, 2019, after being hit by a tornado Saturday.

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Al Bordelon salvages a tool box from what remains of his mother-in-law's shed in Columbus, Mississippi, Sunday morning, Feb. 24, 2019, after Saturday's tornado that killed at least one person and shattered businesses and several homes.

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Tornado strewn debris and fallen trees in this Columbus, Mississippi, neighborhood, Sunday morning, Feb. 24, 2019.

(Twitter photo/@RedHotandRollin)

Flooding in Wellington Subdivision in Morristown, Tennessee.

(Twitter photo/@King4265)

South of Duncan Bridge in Jasper, Alabama.

(Twitter photo/@RedHotandRollin)

Flooding in Wellington Subdivision in Morristown, Tennessee.

(Twitter photo/@RedHotandRollin)

Flooding in Wellington Subdivision in Morristown, Tennessee.

(Twitter photo/@RedHotandRollin)

Flooding in Wellington Subdivision in Morristown, Tennessee.

(Twitter photo/@RedHotandRollin)

Flooding in Wellington Subdivision in Morristown, Tennessee.

(Twitter photo/@RedHotandRollin)

Flooding in Wellington Subdivision in Morristown, Tennessee.

(Twitter photo/@RedHotandRollin)

Flooding in Wellington Subdivision in Morristown, Tennessee.

(Twitter photo/@lyze_lynch)

Storm clouds rolling in near the 45 bypass in Jackson, Tennessee.

(Twitter photo/@lyze_lynch)

Storm clouds rolling in near the 45 bypass in Jackson, Tennessee.

(Twitter photo/@lyze_lynch)

Storm clouds rolling in near the 45 bypass in Jackson, Tennessee.

(Twitter photo/@Rivals_Kyle)

Shelf cloud in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Saturday.

(Twitter photo/@Knoxville_PD)

Knoxville Police Department Animal Control Officers rescued several animals left chained and stranded due to flooding on Saturday. Officials ask people to remember their pets and make arrangements for their safety during storms.

(Image via Chris Dickerson and Dustin Knight. Twitter/anvilcrawlerwx)

Funnel cloud in Burnsville, Mississippi.

(Image via Chris Dickerson and Dustin Knight. Twitter/anvilcrawlerwx)

Funnel cloud in Burnsville, Mississippi.

(Image via Chris Dickerson and Dustin Knight. Twitter/anvilcrawlerwx)

Funnel cloud in Burnsville, Mississippi.

(Image via Chris Dickerson and Dustin Knight. Twitter/anvilcrawlerwx)

Possible tornado damage in Burnsville, Mississippi.

(Twitter/trevor_wx)

A tornado caused severe damage near the downtown area of Columbus, Mississippi.

(Twitter photo/@trevor_wx)

A tornado caused severe damage near the downtown area of Columbus, Mississippi.

(Twitter photo/@trevor_wx)

A tornado caused severe damage near the downtown area of Columbus, Mississippi.

(Twitter photo/@trevor_wx)

A tornado caused severe damage near the downtown area of Columbus, Mississippi.

(Twitter photo/@JakeEshpeterWX)

Damage in Columbus, Mississippi following a tornado.

(Twitter photo/@JakeEshpeterWX)

Damage in Columbus, Mississippi following a tornado.


Damaging thunderstorms accompanied by tornadoes and flooding caused significant damage across northern Mississippi, northern Alabama and central Tennessee this past weekend.

One woman was killed after an EF3 tornado tore through Columbus, Mississippi, late on Saturday afternoon.

In a statement released by Mayor Robert Smith of Columbus, 41-year-old Ashley Pounds was killed when a building collapsed on her and three other people. She was taken to a local hospital where she died in surgery.

A dozen other people sustained injuries but were not hospitalized, according to the Associated Press.

There were spotter-confirmed tornadoes on Saturday evening in Artesia, Leedy and Burnsville, Mississippi.

15g.jpg


Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said in a tweet Sunday morning that state emergency officials have been working with local responders during the storms.

"So far one fatality has been confirmed and damage assessments are now underway. We are saddened by the loss of life but thankful it was not much worse. We are grateful this Sunday morning," Bryant said.

A storm survey team determined, through the extent of the damage, that the tornado reached EF3 intensity.

ef3 tornado graphic columbus mississippi


In Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency declaration for 19 counties that went into effect at 9 p.m. Saturday night, thanks to days of heavy rain and the severe weather on Saturday.

“Parts of northern Alabama have seen days of rain and the ground can no longer absorb it. Those rains combined with the ongoing severe weather today have caused a need for this State of Emergency,” Ivey said.

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As the severe weather outbreak unfolded, flooding prompted rescues across the Tennessee Valley.

The National Weather Service office in Nashville reported that, as of Saturday, the city had already experienced its wettest February on record even before the severe weather targeted the city.

New BNA rain Feb 24


Flooding led to many road closures and water rescues in areas across Tennessee. According to officials, 98 roads were closed due to flooding inside the City of Knoxville on Saturday.

The Knoxville Fire Department rescued victims from a van in floodwaters at Concorde Street in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Three people narrowly escaped their vehicle as it was swallowed by a sinkhole on a flooded roadway near Jackson, Tennessee, on Saturday.


A state of emergency was declared in Magoffin County, Kentucky, on Saturday evening. Widespread flooding and a major mudslide led to road closures, travel disruptions and property damage. An emergency responder was injured when a tree fell on a Magoffin County Rescue Squad vehicle.

Officials from the North Carolina Department of Transportation announced that Interstate 40 near the Tennessee state line will remain closed through the state's mountains for a week due to a rock slide. Both eastbound and westbound lanes were closed on Friday night after a landslide.

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