After heavy storms wrecked Mississippi this weekend, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has received reports of damage from more than 30 counties due to the severe storms and tornadoes on Saturday, February 23rd, along with flooding that began on February 19th and still continues throughout the state.
According to the City of Columbus’ Facebook page, Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant confirmed that 41-year-old Ashley Glynell Pounds of Tupelo has died as a result of injuries sustained in the storm Saturday evening.
Merchant said in a statement that Pounds was in a building when it was struck and collapsed on her and three other people. Pounds was transported by ambulance to a hospital where she ultimately died in surgery. No other information was given on the other three individuals who were with Pounds when the building collapsed. Roughly a dozen other injuries have been reported in Columbus as well.
Governor Phil Bryant praised MEMA and first responders for their hard work during the storms and mourned the loss of life in a message on Twitter.
“So far one fatality has been confirmed and damage assessments are now underway,” said Bryant. “We are saddened by the loss of life but thankful it was not much worse. We are grateful this Sunday morning.”
Your @MSEMA team has been working with local first responders during these 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. https://t.co/9xIBRqplB4
— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) February 24, 2019
So far, 300 residences, 190 roads and bridges, and 30 businesses are affected statewide. However, MEMA says this number does not include damage assessments in Lowndes County. Those numbers have yet to be determined.
MEMA & other public safety officials/first responders are urging the general public to avoid sightseeing in the Columbus area & any other area affected by Saturday’s severe weather outbreak. This can slow the efforts of our first responders & jeopardize their (and your) safety.
— MSEMA (@MSEMA) February 24, 2019
In addition to the severe storms and tornadoes, the National Weather Service in Jackson issued a flash flood warning for northwestern Lafayette County after reports that a local dam was at risk of failing.
MEMA is encouraging the public to report damage to homes or businesses to their county emergency management office.
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