PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has received a preliminary damage report of 15 homes destroyed or sustained major damage in Kemper County as a result of a tornado and severe storms that hit the area on Thursday.  There were 15 more houses reported with minor damage. In addition one business was destroyed and a public building had major damage.  Residents displaced by the damage are being sheltered by the American Red Cross.

There was one death and five injuries reported by Kemper County Emergency Management Director Ben Dudley.

In Noxubee County 49 homes are reported destroyed or sustained major damage with 49 other homes with minor damage.  There are 12 business destroyed or sustained major damage.

There were four injuries reported to Noxubee County Emergency Management Director Bobby Mann.

The National Weather Service Survey Team from Jackson says the tornado was at least an EF-3 with winds between 136-165 mph.

Governor Phil Bryant is sending a request to the U.S. Small Business Administration for a possible disaster declaration for low-interest loans for individuals and businesses in the affected areas.

Additional damage updates will be released as they become available.

The public is encouraged to follow MEMA on Twitter and Facebook for updates.