A powerful storm system moved through southeastern Alabama and southwestern Mississippi on Saturday, Oct. 29, causing at least 10 tornadoes in the region. The tornadoes moved inland from the Gulf of Mexico and hit near Biloxi and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and the Mobile, Alabama, area, according to a report from FOX Weather.
Tornado Watches were in effect over the weekend in these areas. This tornado outbreak was allegedly caused by an unusual amount of wind shear. Meaning, there was a change in wind speed, direction, and height combined with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the weather report, the low-pressure system is moving eastward this weekend. That means the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, and parts of the east coast could be in for some harsh weather Monday and Tuesday.
Apparently, most of the touchdowns occurred in Alabama, near the Gulf. Tornadoes touched down in Vancleave, Moss Point, and Hurley, Mississippi. In Alabama, touchdowns occurred in Dawes, Orchard, Mobile, Spanish Fort, Point Clear, Magnolia Springs, and Bon Secour. Three were rated EF-0 and seven were rated EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
The tornado in Moss Point, Mississippi, was an EF-1 with winds up to 107 mph. It was 250 yards wide, and traveled about 2.8 miles for 7 minutes. It crossed Interstate 10 and caused damage to one vehicle and a building. Additionally, Bon Secour, Alabama had an EF-1 tornado as well. It had winds upwards of 110 mph and was on the ground for only about a mile before dissipating.
As for damage, there is at least evidence of minor destruction at Gautier Middle School in Gautier, Mississippi. Other than that, some powerlines were damaged in Magnolia Springs, Alabama, and the car and building in Moss Point.
Alabama Family Reports Flying Boat Crashed Into Their Home During Tornadoes
The tornado in Bon Secour, Alabama was on the ground for only a few minutes, but it left 4,000 residents without power. Additionally, a family reported that a boat was picked up in the wind and crashed into their home.
A mother and her son were hunkered down in their mobile home, riding out the storm, when the strong winds flipped their home on its side. Then, a flying boat crashed into the side, tearing their mobile home to shreds. They were inside the entire time.
“By the time I went to go to my son so we could be in the same room, it had already blown us everywhere,” Joann Valinsky told NBC 15. Her neighbor went out to inspect the damage and was shocked at what he found.
“We walked out here and noticed the trailer was completely gone,” Mark Mund recalled. “So Joann and Bobby lost everything.”
Joann and her son Bobby are devastated that they lost their home, but they’re mostly just thankful to be alive after the ordeal. “It felt like a train, it felt like we were twirling. It felt like a train just vibrating through the whole house,” said Joann. “The vibrations and then we heard the hit and then the power was still on when we flipped the first time … We just rolled and rolled and rolled.”