Greenwood, Baldwyn, O'Tuckalofa, MS (Other Towns) Tornado, Mar 1942
TORNADOS RIP THROUGH MISSISSIPPI.
65 KILLED, OVER 600 INJURED IN STORMS STATE'S WORST DISASTER IN YEARS.
Jackson, Miss., March 17 (AP) -- The known death toll in a series of tornadic storms that struck north central and northeast Mississippi late Monday afternoon stood at 65 today with the probability it would yet include a dozen or more persons killed in remote rural communities.
The injured list mounted into the hundreds in one of the worst disasters in the state in years. The storms were followed by torrential rains, disrupted communicatioins and blocked highways that made rescue work difficult in the heavily populated cotton growing belt, inhabited predominantly by Negroes.
The known casualty list was 19 dead and 206 injured in Leflore county around Greenwood; 18 dead and 45 injured in the vicinity of Water Valley; 6 dead and more than 100 injured at Grenada; 4 dead, 1 missing and 90 injured at Baldwyn, itself hard hit; 5 dead and many injured at Avalon; 5 reported dead and several hundred hurt, many slightly, at Oxford and Tehula; 6 dead near Michigan City, and 2 dead near North Holly Springs.
JACK DALE, editor of the North Mississippi Herald at nearby Water Valley, who investigated at Grenada, reported only one body in the funeral home there. It was that of BILLY YERGER, 11. MRS. MAY FRANCIS and her two children were killed in nearby Cascille, and a MRS. JACKSON and child were killed near Holcomb.
The storm struck the southeastern corner of Grenada, destroying seven homes, two small stores and the cooperage factory, from which no bodies were taken.
The deaths and injuries occurred the most part, except in Baldwyn, in small outlying and unprotected communities or on farms, where dwellings are cheap and small, unequipped to withstand tornadic winds.
Miraculous escapes of large groups of school children en route home in school buses were reported from several points.
At O'Tuckalofa, a small community near Water Valley, the storm demolished the schoolhouse and teacher's home just after school closed. Supt. EDWIN VERNON FERRELL, 36, and a five-month-old twin daughter were killed, while his wife and the other twin escaped. No school children were reported hurt.
At Fort Pennerton, near Greenwood, a school bus that had just discharged its passengers was blown several hundred yards, severely injuring the driver.
Eleven children in a school bus below Greenwood were hurt, and 40 in another bus in that vicinity were bruised when the bus was damaged.
The two tornadoes that hit Baldwyn unroofed the new school there, wrecked about a quarter of the business district, damaged several churches, and filled emergency hospitals there and in nearby Tupelo.
Jackson, Miss., March 17. -- (AP) -- The persons reported killed in north Mississippi's tornadic storms Monday included:
RAMSEY McEACHERN, Berclair.
MRS. R. A. KELLEY, Berclair.
MR. and MRS. WALKER and baby, near Avalon.
MRS. BARNETT, near Avalon.
MRS. ROBERTS, of Itta Bena.
23 Unidentified Negroes.
MRS. HUB NORMAN, about 60.
MRS. R. H. CHRISTIAN, about 30.
MRS. EFFIE McBRAYER, about 70.
MRS. WILLIAM KESSLER.
Around Water Valley:
School Superintendent EDWIN VERNON FERRELL and five-months-old twin daughter.
J. D. WILLIAMS, about 70, O'Tuckalofa farmer.
ROBERT and TOM HILYARD.
MRS. H. L. MAYNOR, 27.
W. B. WILLIAMS, 60.
WILLIAMS' two grandchildren, TOMMY, 3, and PATSY JOE WILLIAMS, 5.
Two unidentified Negroes.
BILLY YERGER, 11.
MRS. MAY FRANCIS and two children.
MRS. JACKSON and child.
MISS CLAUDIE NEAL.
MISS CLARICE NEAL.
WYLIE LEE NEAL.
Delta Democrat Times Greenville Mississippi 1942-03-17