NWS upgrades rating of tornado that hit Mansfield paper plant - KCTV5

BREAKING

NWS upgrades rating of tornado that hit Mansfield paper plant

Posted: Updated:
Employees reported the suspected tornado dropped out of the sky without warning, damaging several vehicles parked at the facility. (Melinda Deas) Employees reported the suspected tornado dropped out of the sky without warning, damaging several vehicles parked at the facility. (Melinda Deas)
While the storm was brief, StormTracker 12 Chief Meteorologist Jeff Castle says radar captured indications of a possible brief spin-up over the International Paper Plant. While the storm was brief, StormTracker 12 Chief Meteorologist Jeff Castle says radar captured indications of a possible brief spin-up over the International Paper Plant.
(Source: Melinda Deas) (Source: Melinda Deas)
MANSFIELD, LA (KSLA) - A warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down at the International Paper Company in Mansfield near the Red River Parish line on Tuesday afternoon.

Bill Parker, who originally thought the tornado was an EF-0, said the tornado had wind speeds of 85 to 95 mph. He said the spin up happened very quickly.

"I would have to go back to the office and talk to the meteorologist that were working to understand what they were looking at the time," he said. "But no, we didn't have a warning out for this storm." 

It happened around 2:19 p.m. at the plant in the 1200 block of Louisiana Highway 509. There was no warning in effect for that area at the time the damaging winds came through. Employees reported the tornado dropped out of the sky without warning, damaging several vehicles parked at the facility, which manufactures container board for the the production of boxes. 

While the storm was brief, StormTracker 12 Chief Meteorologist Jeff Castle says radar captured indications of a possible brief spin-up over the plant. A full assessment of conditions at the plant is in progress and there was no work stoppage, according to IP officials. 

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office and the Office of Emergency Preparedness confirms the event damaged some vehicles at the plant. There were no reported injuries.

Employee Jessie Wooten was inside a mobile home office at the time of the tornado.

"It was on top of us before I even realized what was going on," Wooten said, adding one of his co-workers spotted it first and yelled for everyone to run. 

"I looked up and the funnel cloud was right here," he explained.

In cases of severe weather, emergency protocol at the mill requires all employees to get to designated sturdy buildings. According to Wooten, the only thing on his mind was to run to that building. 

"As big as I am, I can't run that fast, but trust me, I ran as fast as I could," Wooten said. "The guys behind me said, 'Don't stop now.'"

Employees described the chaos lasting about two minutes, but in that short time, the wind was able to do a lot of damage. Trees and branches could be seen all over the parking lot, a car had been turned onto its side. Metal sheeting collapsed, and several vehicles were damaged. 

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office responded to the scene and helped the employees make vehicle damage claims. Employees could be seen helping each other out, sharing duct tape and plastic bags to patch up blown out windows.

Mill manager Kevin Driscoll says most of the damage was minor and he's grateful nobody was hurt. 

According to Driscoll, they will be doing a thorough damage assessment Wednesday, and will come up with a detail repair plan.

The financial damage to the mill has not yet been calculated.

Anyone with any reportable damage is urged to contact the sheriff's office at (318) 872-3956.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Thursday, January 29 2015 11:44 PM EST2015-01-30 04:44:07 GMT
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language.More >
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language. More >
  • Surveillance video captures smash and grab at Independence home

    Surveillance video captures smash and grab at Independence home

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:19 PM EDT2017-05-26 03:19:33 GMT
    Brian Graham faces burglary and theft charges, while David Sherrill is charged with burglary and receiving stolen property. (Submitted)Brian Graham faces burglary and theft charges, while David Sherrill is charged with burglary and receiving stolen property. (Submitted)

    Thieves smashed their way inside an Independence man's home as his crystal-clear surveillance cameras rolled.  

    More >

    Thieves smashed their way inside an Independence man's home as his crystal-clear surveillance cameras rolled.  

    More >
  • 2 shooting victims found in vehicle near 104th, Holmes

    2 shooting victims found in vehicle near 104th, Holmes

    Thursday, May 25 2017 6:14 PM EDT2017-05-25 22:14:44 GMT
    Chopper 5 video of the crime scene. (KCTV5)Chopper 5 video of the crime scene. (KCTV5)

    Police are investigating a double-shooting at 104th Street and Holmes.  One person is fighting for their life, while the second victim suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.  This is the third double-shooting in Kansas City in the past 24 hours.  This is a developing story. Stay tuned to KCTV5 News for more. 

    More >

    Police are investigating a double-shooting at 104th Street and Holmes.  One person is fighting for their life, while the second victim suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.  This is the third double-shooting in Kansas City in the past 24 hours.  This is a developing story. Stay tuned to KCTV5 News for more. 

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.