FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — Teresa Hazelwood stopped by a Dollar General store in northern Mississippi to get some chips, and soon found herself riding out a suspected tornado in the parking lot and felt it lifting her car. She gripped the steering wheel and prayed.

“I just prayed to God, oh please God help me," Hazelwood recalled after Tuesday's storm. “And things was going every which way. I could feel the vehicle move. It lifted, it moved me out of the parking spot. And I just kept praying please God help me."

The suspected tornado heavily damaged the store in Tishomingo and other structures in northern Mississippi and Alabama as a severe storm system crossed the Deep South, authorities said.

Tishomingo Police Chief Mike Kemp told WTVA minor injuries were reported in that community.

National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Johnson said there were reports of widespread tree damage and some structural damage in Tishomingo County, which is in northern Mississippi abutting the Alabama border.

He said the tornado touched down about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“It’s a pretty compact system that produced the tornado and it’s moved into parts of Alabama and Tennessee,” Johnson said.

The National Weather Service had issued multiple tornado warnings through the early evening, including a “tornado emergency" for an area of northwest Alabama.

The National Weather Service in Huntsville tweeted shortly before 6 p.m. that “TORNADO HAS BEEN REPORTED ON THE GROUND" and told residents in an area of Colbert County in north Alabama to seek shelter. That county also abuts the Mississippi state line.

The weather service also said there were preliminary reports of falling debris in the area.

Robert Boyd, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Huntsville, Alabama, said severe weather warnings had been issued for northwest Alabama on Tuesday evening.

Severe weather watches also were posted for parts of Georgia and Tennessee as the storm system moved across the South during the nighttime hours.

A note to our readers

In these troubling times when we are all dealing with the coronavirus, local news is more valuable than ever. We have made the decision to give our readers free access during this crisis, but we ask that you would voluntarily support local journalism by signing up for a digital subscription. Your subscription will allow you to keep seeing our valuable local coverage even after we have weathered this storm.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

0
0
0
0
0

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.