Shelter to be opened at church

Columbia officials plan to open the Vine Church (the former skating rink on Mississippi 13 North) at 8 tonight as a shelter for people affected by today's tornado.

Police Chief Michael Kelly said at least 10-12 buildings have been damaged, and power lines are down throughout town. Extra emergency personnel are patrolling.

Mayor Justin McKenzie asked residents to stay off the roads while the damaged is being assessed and said if anyone is caught looting they will go straight to jail.

No fatalities have been reported from the tornado that struck the city just before 5 p.m., but three injuries were confirmed, all from Beal's Collision. That business and at least two others in the area north of U.S. 98 near the Pearl River were mostly destroyed.

Caption: Damage is seen Monday night at Beal's Collision. Photo by Charlie Smith.