Severe weather strikes again

Jeff Whitten


Severe weather strikes again

A carport on Pharr Street after tree limbs collapsed it during Wednesday’s storms.

McNairy County was once again buffeted by storms on May 25.

National Weather Service Doppler Radar indicated a severe thunderstorm producing a tornado seven miles northeast of Selmer, near Adamsville. 

A trained expert sighted a tornado on Highway 64 between the two towns, according to Mayor David Leckner. He said that a touchdown of the tornado or damage by it could not be confirmed.

McNairy County Emergency Management Agency Director Rudy Moore said that personnel from the National Weather Service has been investigating whether there was a tornado, but had not yet reached any conclusions, to the best of his knowledge.

Once again, the county escaped injury and widespread damage, according to Moore.

Selmer Fire Chief Anthony Carr said there were trees, power lines and power poles down throughout the county and the worst damage was in the northeast part. 

The storm damaged the roof on the Landmark Pentecostal Church between Stantonville and West Shiloh, according to Stantonville Mayor Larry Raines. By Friday, the roof had been repaired.

A tree limb hit a carport on Pharr Street in Selmer. The house belongs to Nathan and Kate West. Nathan is the youth minister at the nearby Fourth Street Church of Christ.

According to West, he and his wife were in the church basement next door.

Neighbor Shirley Skelton, called 911 after the limb fell.

Carr also said an office trailer on the old Hively property was damaged by the storm.

Margie Alexander, Milledgeville City Recorder and wife of Mayor Leland Alexander, said a tornado flew over their house Wednesday night. Although she said she knew of no structural damage there, there was tree damage and the electricity was out until early morning.

The storm knocked out power for 4,200 customers, according to Beverly Lambert, Pickwick Electric Cooperative (PEC) Director of Member Relations.

Lambert said that the highest concentration of the power outages was in the Pickwick/Counce area and that as of Thursday, power had been restored to a majority of PEC customers.

Quarter-sized hail fell in the Leapwood community.

Radar also indicated tornadoes nine miles west of Pickwick Landing State Park, one near Saltillo and one 10 miles northwest of Burnsville, Miss. 

These storms were part of a powerful line of storms that moved through the Midwest and Southeast.

On May 22, the deadliest tornado since the National Weather Service started keeping records in 1950 leveled Joplin, in southeast Missouri and killed 125 people there.

This storm comes on the heels of storms in April and early May that flooded roads, damaged one home and a couple of businesses in McNairy County and produced a tornado in Pickwick.

Gov. Bill Haslam announced Sunday that President Obama granted a request to provide disaster aid to 25 Tennessee counties, including McNairy County.

This means that the county will receive aid for things like road repairs arising out of the April 25 through 28 storms, according to McNairy County Emergency Management Coordinator Rudy Moore. 

This is part of an earlier declaration from the series of severe storms, straight-line winds and flash flooding.

Aid will also be available to nonprofits such as Pickwick Electric Cooperative, Moore said.

Moore said the amount of aid or the timeline for receiving the aid was yet to be determined. Assessment teams will first have to do their inspections, he said.