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Weir Tornado Strikes Dairy Farm With Yalobusha Links

Mississippi State University Veterinary School faculty and students along with private practice veterinarians, employees and volunteers tend to the injured dairy cows on the H. E. Turnipseed and Sons Dairy near Weir, last Thursday, January 10. Powerful thunderstorms packing heavy rain and high winds pushed across Alabama and Mississippi on Thursday, causing scattered property damage. – Photo by Mississippi State University Veterinary School faculty and students along with private practice veter

By Jack Gurner

The strong tornados that ripped through Mississippi last Thursday destroyed much of the Turnipseed Dairy Farm in Weir. The Dairy is owned and operated by Todd and Parker Turnipseed, grandsons of Mr. And Mrs. Paul Parker of Water Valley.

According to Jackson television station WLBT, only a twisted pile of lumber and sheet metal was left where some 350 cattle were being milked. The twister, hidden by a curtain of heavy rain, dropped out of the sky at 12:55 p.m.

“We did not hear it,” said farm worker Andy Hoffman. “It was just a big wall of water. I actually saw a funnel coming down in it.”

Workers and cattle in the barn were tossed around like match sticks and buried as the barn collapsed on top of them.

“The tornado just hit, and all of a sudden we just all went down,” said Sherman Holman. “I had a wall on my back. The only thing sticking out on me was my neck.”

Another young man’s mother was trapped in the rubble.

“When I got in there, I found her,” he said. “There was a cow laying on her bottom part. It messed her back and both her knees up.”

Farm workers say they are lucky to limp away. Three others were hospitalized with minor injuries.

The cattle were not as fortunate. Emergency officials report least 10 cows dead, possibly 70 injured. Vets, neighbors, anyone with heavy equipment rushed to the scene.

Mrs. Charlotte Parker said that she expects her grandsons to continue in the dairy business. “They are sad about it. But, I think they are going to be alright.”

Mrs. Parker said the remaining cows are confused. “They are being milked at Vaiden.”

“The whole community (Weir) is helping out,” she added.

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