GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A downed tree was all that was left of a funnel cloud that moved over Coleman Road in north Gulfport Wednesday evening. While officials said it did not appear to have touched down, the strong winds did cause minor damage.
"I was very relieved that it didn't touch the ground. We've got some beautiful homes in here," said Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy. "This pattern, it could have been a lot worse than what we do have."
Lacy was at a meeting in north Gulfport, and actually saw the funnel form. He called in to confirm the storm and issue a tornado warning.
"We had the thunder storm rolling through. We could see the up draft with the down draft off the interstate as it was starting to form. You could see the actual circulation of the clouds go around as it started to form. The fortunate thing is that we didn't have the touch down."
According to Lacy, Harrison County and Gulfport city officials were immediately sent out to search for damage. On Coleman Road, they found a tree with its top snapped off. There were also a few cable and phone lines down. Repair trucks quickly found the scene and went to work.
Lacy said that more sever weather could be around the corner.
"Any thunderstorms, especially with the advancing cold front, can spark off severe weather," said Lacy. "This is our second season. We're coming out of hurricane season, now we're coming into severe storm season."
According to Lacy, October and November is billed as severe storm season, which means conditions can easily lead to severe thunder storms and tornadoes. He said everyone should take caution and keep up with weather warnings.