Mid-South storms lead to damage and school closings

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - As heavy rain, hail, and wind made its way through the Mid-South early Wednesday morning, several counties experienced damage, some of which led to classes being canceled.


Classes were canceled for the day at McNairy County Schools and Chester County Schools.

Osceola School District  and Dyer County Schools also closed due to inclement weather.

Blytheville School District closed Wednesday due to extensive power outages. The safety director said a lot of power lines in the area were down and they determined it was not safe for students.

KIPP Blytheville closed Wednesday. Initially, the school district called for a 2-hour delay before canceling classes for the day.

SLIDESHOW: Storm damage photos


Much of the severe weather stayed in East Arkansas. One of the areas hit the hardest was Osceola.

The Osceola Community Center had significant roof damage that closed the athletic courts and other activities.

"We come out and exercise here and knew that there had been some damage to the building," resident Joe Thomas said.

Thomas, who has lived in Osceola his entire life, said the strong wind that blew through town was fierce.

"I don't think we'll be exercising for a while," Thomas said.

Osceola leaders said severe winds and heavy rain not only damaged the community center, but it also damaged the baseball fields nearby. The storm knocked out power to homes and businesses Wednesday morning.

"This is probably the worst that I've seen, the worst I've seen and I've been here all my life," Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore said.

Kennemore said insurance will help repair and rebuild the community center, as well as clean up the baseball field. He said he knows the storm could have been much worse.

"I don't like that it happened. I wish it didn't happen. The good news is that nobody was hurt and the good news is that everything can be replaced," Kennemore said.

In Tyronza, Arkansas, a man became trapped when a tree fell on his mobile home. Emergency crews were able to rescue him. He is OK and was not seriously injured.

Poinsett County Sheriff Kevin Molder reported widespread damage including fallen trees, power outages, and overturned trucks.

An 18-wheeler was toppled in Marked Tree, Arkansas.

In Blytheville, police officers said several trees had fallen on homes and debris was scattered across roadways.


Strong winds and storms knocked down trees and power lines in Dyersburg. Car windows were also broken by hail.

"Hearing things hit the house and so as soon as it hit the living room we heard this big crash," Lori Burdine said.

Burdine said a tree fell just a few feet from where she and her husband sought shelter inside their home.

"We were waiting for that next moment, but then it was quiet. A little bit of rain, but it was over," she said.

Dyersburg resident Lauren Wooldridge said the storms caused a tree to come crashing through their living room.

"We heard the noise 'cause it shook our entire house," Wooldridge said. "We were just really concerned for our children."

She said their two children slept in the same living room the past few days because they were recovering from the flu. But, the night of the storm, she put them both in bed so they could get some sleep for school the next morning.

"If my little boy had been lying down in there it could've killed him," Wooldride said.

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