Tornado touches down in Petal

PETAL, Miss. (WJTV) – A tornado touched down in the Pinebelt on Wednesday, leaving behind trees and damaged rooftops.

The damaged spread across a couple of blocks near the NAPA Auto Repair Shop on West Central Avenue, in Petal.

A witness who was at the eye of the storm said at one point the winds lifted him off the ground.

“Next thing I know, it starts pulling me. So I grab a hold of the side of the wall, and it’s still pulling me. And I grab it with two hands, and it started pulling me off the ground. Next thing I see the spiral going up…it started sucking everything up. I mean down the street you see nothing but a row of dust and leaves and trees,” Randy Ingram said.

Luckily, no major damage was reported.

“From the start of it, it lasted about 2 minutes. But it felt like an eternity,” Ingram said.

Even though the tornado didn’t do much damage to homes and businesses, it was strong enough to completely uproot a very large tree, and tangle branches in the air. “I watched it tip over. And when it hit, it shook the ground,” Ingram said.

In January, Petal was hit with an EF-3 tornado. Four people were killed in Forrest County. So, after Wednesday’s storm, they’re just happy it wasn’t worse.

“We’re not too fond of tornadoes around here. We’ve had a spell with them that’s for sure,” Sergeant Orrin Thomas of the Petal Police Department said.

“Now that I’ve heard that everybody is okay, that was the coolest stuff I’ve ever seen,” Ingram said.

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