Looking Back, Looking Ahead: A Warning

Yazoo County’s history of tornadoes.



Sights like this are common in the Delta during Spring

In the early spring of 2022, severe weather repeatedly struck Yazoo County, echoing the memory of a tornado that tore its way through the city of Yazoo in 2010.

Goodman’s Tornado

On Tuesday, March 22, 2022, a tornado touched down in Holmes County. The local community college lay in the path of the storm. Holmes Community College received extensive damages from the impact of the storm. Fallen trees and power lines affected the area as well as damaged vehicles. The tornado tore off roofs on several buildings, including the cafeteria and some of the dormitories.

WJTV reported that Holmes Community College was still repairing damages in the week after the storm hit but has since hoped to open a few of the buildings on campus, such as Cook and Webster Hall, by Wednesday, April 6, 2022.

WJTV has not reported any new updates regarding the recovering campus.

Benton’s Tornado

On Wednesday, March 30, 2022, a wall of storms passed through the state of Mississippi. The storm traveled from Louisiana and into Mississippi, affecting counties up and down the Mississippi River.

Throughout the state, 20 tornadoes were reported, says WJTV. Yazoo County was one of the central counties placed under a tornado warning in the late afternoon hours of March 30.  A cell with the possibility of producing a tornado passed over Yazoo County on that Wednesday afternoon.

The storm severely affected the small town of Benton and surrounding areas. Businesses, rural residences, and other buildings suffered power outages. Benton Academy, the local high school, closed early on Wednesday at 1:25 p.m. and through the entirety of Thursday, March 31 because of loss of power. The school was able to open again that Friday.

The rural areas and backroads suffered damage as well. Fallen trees and power lines were an issue. Broken tree tops littered yards and roads. Johnston Rd. suffered extreme damages, including property damages. 

No news networks have reported on this area, but the locals believe a tornado tore through the backside of Johnston and Chew Forks Rd. 

A line of destruction remains in the area from the storm. Local volunteers and responders have been working since that Wednesday evening to clear the roads, while homeowners work tirelessly to clean debris and repair damages left by the storm.

No injuries or fatalities were reported. 

The Next – Next Wave

On Tuesday, April 5, 2022, severe weather impacted Mississippi for the third time in three weeks. These storms arrived after midnight and continued through Tuesday.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency or MEMA reported 5 tornadoes hit the state that Tuesday. WJTV reported that the counties severely impacted by Tuesday’s storms were Covington, Jefferson Davis, Lauderdale, Newton, and Wayne.

No injuries or fatalities were reported.

Learning from 2010

Spring of 2022 has produced almost a weekly continuation of severe weather, and these storms are arriving close to the date of a major storm that hit Yazoo City and surrounding areas in 2010. 

On April 24, a massive tornado hit the city of Yazoo. 

That Saturday began like any other. People went about their business until the arrival of the storm. The tornado was rated as an EF-4 for its intensity and severity.

Businesses, churches, and residences were all affected. The winds reached around 170 miles per hour. The width of the funnel was 1.75 miles wide. 

The EF-4 scattered debris throughout the town, and destruction was a common sight. After the storm passed, traffic was back up on U. S. Route 49 and Old Highway 16 as people tried to enter the city limits. The damages to local businesses and residences lasted for months, and in some places, those damages are still unrepaired.

A piece of metal tin sat in the trees off Route 49 for months after the storm, and a piece of plywood impaled the brick wall of what was left of the local barbershop. Congregants recently replaced a destroyed church at the city limits on Route 49 just up the hill from the original foundation.

This storm resulted in the deaths of ten people.

Some Final Words

In case of the threat of severe weather, stay advised with up-to-date information from local advisories, and take all necessary precautions. Do not treat these situations as minor. Take shelter immediately when severe weather threatens your area. Take precautions and stay safe.