At least five tornadoes confirmed along Gulf Coast as weather system moves through

Published 7:10 pm Sunday, October 30, 2022

At least five tornadoes have been confirmed after a severe weather outbreak Saturday along the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast.

No injuries or deaths were reported as damage surveys continued.

The National Weather Service said Sunday that three tornadoes touched down in Jackson County, Mississippi, each with top winds estimated between 100 mph and 110 mph (160 kph and 175 kph).

In Alabama, two weak tornadoes with winds of 72 mph (115 kph) or less were confirmed, one in Theodore and one south of downtown Mobile. Surveyors were still looking Sunday for evidence of tornadoes in Alabama, where multiple funnel clouds were captured on video or in pictures.

A Mississippi twister in Vancleave had a path of 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) damaging trees, a home and some outbuildings. A 2.8-mile (4.5-kilometer) tornado damaged trees in Moss Point before crossing a marsh and Interstate 10. A 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) tornado damaged light poles at a park in Big Point.

Surveyors concluded that damage to Gautier Middle School was caused by straight line winds. Wind damage was also reported farther west in Pass Christian and Diamondhead, Mississippi.

Although tornadoes are rare in most of the United States in late fall and winter, they are more common along the Gulf Coast in those seasons, when cold fronts collide with warm Gulf of Mexico air.

In Alabama, multiple people made images of a funnel cloud crossing a highway that runs across Mobile Bay between Mobile and Spanish Fort. No damage was reported there.

Residents also reported wind damage in parts of western Mobile and in Theodore, southwest of the city. The Theodore tornado tore the roof off at least one house, blowing out windows. Other residents lost fences, trampolines and above-ground swimming pools.

“Opened this front door and the tree tops over there just parted and you could see a funnel not touching the ground, come through I slammed the door got in the hallway with the kids, and in a matter of 30 seconds the ramming and banging and it was gone,” homeowner Matthew McGilberry of Theodore told WKRG-TV on Sunday.

East across Mobile Bay, thousands were without power late Saturday around Magnolia Springs and Bon Secour. However utilities reported that almost all the outages had been restored by Sunday.