RIPLEY, Miss. — Tippah County residents are recovering from a tornado that tore through Ripley, Mississippi on Thursday afternoon.
The National Weather Service later said its preliminary investigation confirmed the damage was caused by an EF2 tornado. An EF2 has winds from 111 to 135 mph.
A Tornado Warning was issued for parts of Tippah and Alcorn counties in northeast Mississippi. A Tornado Watch was also issued for parts of the Memphis metro area.
According to the National Weather Service, at one point, there was a “likely tornado” heading across Benton County, Mississippi northwest of Ripley. The National Weather Service has yet to confirm this was a tornado.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency confirms one person has been injured.
This was the scene outside the 79 gas station in Ripley after the possible tornado passed through.
Dev Patel, the owner of the gas station, told us he was inside helping customers when it started to rain heavily and the wind whipped the doors open. When he came outside, he saw the damage that was left behind.
Thankfully, everyone was okay.
“I was thinking about my wife. They left a while ago. They weren’t at home yet so I was trying to call them to see if they were safe,” Patel said.
Things were just as scary up the road in a more residential area.
“It got really loud, the wind picked up. And then it kept getting louder and louder, next thing you hear is limbs cracking, things like that. It came out of nowhere, truthfully,” said Anna Jordan who lives in the area.
She said it lasted about 30 to 40 seconds, and when she came outside, there was damage all around.
“The garage is pretty much gone. It pretty much lifted the roof and the air conditioning unit is upside down,” Jordan said.
The National Weather Service will be in the area this week to fully assess the damage and rule if this was an official tornado.