Well, this is pretty terrifying. A mid-afternoon tornado struck Tupelo, Mississippi, on Monday prompting the staff of WTVA to evacuate in the middle of a live update on the storm. "This is a tornado emergency...a tornado ripping through the city of Tupelo as we speak," said meteorologist Matt Laubhan. Seconds later, Lubhan says "Basement, now. Let's go," as he and the staff leave the studio in mid-broadcast.
Although the immediate danger has passed — with no reported injuries in Tupelo so far — WTVA's stream is still cutting in and out periodically. The station was working off of backup power this afternoon.
Based on initial pictures of the tornado's path, the damage looks to be rather extensive. Storm spotters reported that a large tornado touched down near the city, producing a large debris signature on the radar. It reportedly caused major damage to a shopping mall:
swept through Arkansas yesterday, killing 16 people.
MAJOR damage in North Tupelo. This is serious guys! pic.twitter.com/QepqUO5ydp— Steven Heicher (@stevenheicher) April 28, 2014