EF-1 tornado hits Pascagoula - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

EF-1 tornado hits Pascagoula

A possible tornado touched down in Pascagoula early Saturday morning. (Photo source: WLOX) A possible tornado touched down in Pascagoula early Saturday morning. (Photo source: WLOX)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

A tornado touched down shortly before midnight in Pascagoula Friday.

It only took New Orleans National Weather Service meteorologist Ken Graham a little under an hour to determine that it was in fact a twister that tore through town. 

“This thing was on the ground maybe 30 seconds; less than a minute. It's amazing how fast it was going,” Graham said.

During storms, the NWS sends someone to the area to rule out straight line winds. Once they do that, they’re tasked with calculating the specs of the tornado for the record books.

“We plot where it started, where it ended and we try to come up with a strength based on the damage that we see," Graham said.

With an iPad in hand, Graham worked his way through the damaged area, documenting what’s left behind.

"I can actually link up with the GPS, take a picture of damage at each different point and put in some characteristics from the damage, and I get wind speeds,” Graham noted. 

MOBILE USERS: CLICK HERE TO VIEW ADDITIONAL PHOTOS OF THE TORNADO DAMAGE

That data is then streamed back to the weather service to analyze. According to experts, it was a straight line of about 2.75 miles of an EF-1 tornado.

That tornado was at it's strongest at Singing River Cross Fit Gym on the corner of Market St and Ingalls Avenue. Graham says the winds there likely got to about 80 miles per hour, strong enough to uproot the foundation of the building.

“Most of the time that wind comes up and it lifts the roof off and some of the brick comes with it,” Graham said.

Graham says the storm should be a strong reminder to people to have some sort of weather alert system on hand, and revisit their tornado plans. 

“That wasn’t even a tornadic environment last night. Trying to remind people theses systems, they can spark up tornadoes at any time,” Graham said. 

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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