One person is dead and widespread damage reported in Philadelphia and southwestern Neshoba County after strong winds ravaged the area late Thursday afternoon.

Fire Chief Pierce Clark was urging people to stay home and not hamper emergency operations. Multiple roads are blocked and power lines are down, he said.

As the storm raged, Neshoba 911 Communications reported they were being "slammed with damage reports" and asked emergency responders to limit radio traffic to emergency only.




An outer wall collapsed at Neshoba Urgent Care in the Eastgate Shopping Center on east Main Street, traffic signals were ripped from wires, canopies torn away and lots and lots of trees were down and blocking roadways. Widespread power outages were reported throughout the city and county.

Neshoba Sheriff Tommy Waddell confirmed the fatality after a tree fell on a vehicle on Mississippi 15 south at Mississippi 485 about four miles outside of town in the Good Hope community. There was no identifying information on the fatality. The coroner could not be reached.

The ambulance responding to the call had difficulty getting to the scene because of downed trees reported from Waldo to Dixon to Tucker and up Mississippi 21.

Neshoba General hospital reported treating no serious injures from the storm but said they had been on and off backup power.

Laird Hospital in Union reported treating no serious injuries but said the storm was most intense around 5 pm and the facility had to switch to an emergency backup generator for one hour.

Heavy rains and high winds roared through Neshoba County during the late afternoon, but although a tornado warning had been issue, one had not been confirmed.

“We have damage everywhere,” Waddell said. “We have reports of trees on houses. We have one fatality.”

The city of Philadelphia suffered heavy damage with the greatest damage apparently occurring in the east and south part of the town, including the Historic District along Holland and Poplar avenues, said Mayor James Young.

He said it was all hands on deck Thursday evening for city employees from the police department, the fire department and the street department who were out checking on the damage and clearing debris.

“We have big oak trees on houses,” Mayor Young said. “Power lines were down. Right now, we are mapping out the damage. We are making rounds and the police department is out checking, making sure we haven’t missed anything.”

As of 6 p.m., Mayor Young said he has not received any reports of injuries in town.

There were widespread gas leaks reported. A roadway was shut near Linwood because of a spewing gas line.