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No warning for Lauderdale County

By Staff
CRUSHED The owner of these vehicles, a truck and a Cadillac, was trapped when a fallen tree split her
trailer. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 17, 2000
A National Weather Service official said Saturday night that bad judgment not bad radar prevented a warning from being issued to Lauderdale County residents about a storm that ripped through the Dalewood and Russell communities.
Stefkovich, who drove from Jackson Saturday afternoon to survey the damage, said officials have not yet classified the storm as a tornado.
An aerial survey is planned for today.
Other "straight-line wind" indicators are the narrow path the storm took (consistent with fast-moving storms) and the diverging pattern of damage (inconsistent with tornado damage).
Stefkovich estimated wind speeds in Saturday's storm at 50 to 60 mph similar in intensity to an F-1 tornado.
Forecasters issued severe thunderstorm warnings for Jasper and Newton counties early Saturday morning, and later issued a tornado watch for most counties east of Interstate 55.
Stefkovich said he and other forecasters learned of the damage after receiving phone calls from amateur radio spotters and from Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star.
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