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NWS: Mississippi tornado was highest-rated EF-5

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Posted: Apr 29, 2011 11:27 AM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: national, weather, service, nws, norman, oklahoma, tornadoes, ef-5, rating, mississippi, smithville

NORMAN, Okla. - The National Weather Service says one of the tornadoes that killed hundreds in the South had winds of 205 mph and was the first EF-5 tornado in Mississippi since 1966.

That's the highest rating given by the weather service for tornado damage. Meteorologist Jim LaDue at the weather service's Storm Prediction Center says he expects many more of the tornados that killed at least 297 people will be rated EF-5 later Friday.

The weather service said the tornado hit Smithville, Miss., at 3:44 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. It was a half-mile wide and was on the ground for close to three miles, killing 14 and injuring 40.

The tornado destroyed 18 homes, which the weather service said were well built, less than 10 years old and bolted to their foundation.

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