Volunteers assist in Winston County
By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times
No damage was reported in Webster County from severe weather earlier this week, officials said.
Jimmy Forrester, Webster County Emergency Management Agency public information officer, said that as of Tuesday afternoon, the county had no confirmed reports of any damage or injuries.
All or parts of Webster County were under tornado warnings Monday afternoon and a tornado watch until 9 that night. Forrester said the WCEMA had no confirmed reports of any tornado touching down here.
Because the National Weather Service had said strong tornadoes, damaging winds, heavy rainfall and large hail were possible until late Tuesday in Mississippi, emergency response agencies and county officials met Sunday afternoon and Monday morning in preparation for possible severe weather in Webster County, according to Forrester. He said fire departments and other emergency crews were on alert and standing by through Tuesday; no severe weather occurred here that day.
On Monday morning, representatives from the Webster County EMA, Sheriff’s Department, Board of Supervisors, city of Eupora, Eupora Police Department and Plymouth Tube Co. participated in a teleconference at Plymouth Tube with the NWS and received updates on weather conditions forecast through Tuesday night, Forrester said.
County schools dismissed around noon Monday and Tuesday because of the threat of inclement weather, and Forrester said Plymouth Tube shut down at 1 p.m. Monday for the remainder of the day.
Winston County took a direct hit from a tornado Monday afternoon, resulting in multiple fatalities, and Forrester said Webster County sent 20 or more people there that night to assist.
These included the Webster County Search and Rescue Team, firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMA Director/Fire Coordinator Barry Rushing, Deputy EMA Director/Fire Coordinator Richard Love and emergency medical workers.
Todd Shettles, Emergency Medical Services Director for NMMC-Eupora, said it dispatched an ambulance to the damaged Winston Medical Center to help evacuate nursing home and hospital patients, and stayed until about 2 a.m. Tuesday.
County supervisors Doug Burgess, Paul Crowley, Pat Cummings and Randy Rico, along with some road crew workers, took two backhoes and one tractor to help clear streets and roads.
Rushing expressed thanks to all of those from Webster County who volunteered to provide assistance in Winston County’s recovery efforts.