Storm damage is minor

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2000

Damage from a thunderstorm that came through Lincoln CountyTuesday evening was widespread but minimal, said emergencyofficials.

“It wasn’t too bad, but we did have several trees down, and wehad some pea and dime-sized hail, mainly around the Auburn area,”said Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey.

Galey said his office had reports of about 15 to 20 trees downthroughout the county between 4:30 and 6 p.m. when a thunderstormbearing strong straight-line winds passed through.

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Fallen trees over a railroad track near Newman Trail caused somedamage to a passenger train that was moving through the area.

“The storm came through and blew one large oak tree and acluster of other trees on the tracks,” said J.R. Kyzar, trainmasterfor Canadian National-Illinois Central.

The engineer of the Amtrak, which was carrying around 150passengers, applied the emergency brakes when he saw the debris,but the train was not able to shut down quickly enough.

“He hit the trees, and it bent the snow plow down, but no onewas hurt and the train did not derail,” said Kyzar.

The train was backed down the tracks so the trees could beremoved and the plow repaired.

The work caused a delay for a freight train coming throughBrookhaven around 6:30 p.m.

In nearby Copiah County, harsh winds also caused trees to toppleand block roadways, said Wesson Police Chief Steve Carlisle.

“We had trees blown down across the highway, and we had somepower lines blown down, too,” he said.

Even though trees and power lines blocked roads, few motorvehicle accidents were reported Tuesday evening. King’s DaughtersMedical Center responded to only one accident with injuries. Oneother minor accident was also reported during that time period.

Three storm-related fires were also reported Tuesday evening.Lightning strikes were the apparent cause of a pasture fire, ahouse fire and a workshop fire, said Galey.

The first fire was reported around 5 p.m. after Scott King hearda loud thunder clap at his home on Auburn Drive.

“We heard it, and then we saw smoke out the back door and theshop was on fire,” he said.

The workshop, which contained table saws, an air compressor anda lawn mower, was a total loss.

A pasture fire was later reported on Highway 84 West, followedby a house fire around 9 p.m. also on Highway 84 West.

The thunderstorm may have brought lightning and strong winds,but it also brought rain to an area that has seen littleprecipitation over the last few weeks. The Waste Water TreatmentPlant in Brookhaven recorded 0.19 inches of rain.