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No injuries, but major damage in Sunday storm

Storms that whipped across northern Lincoln County Sundayevening left at least 20 homes damaged or destroyed, nearly 3,500people without power, and travel in some areas slowed to a crawlwith trees down across roads.

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove was making an emergency trip to LincolnCounty Monday morning to survey the damage.

There were no reports of injuries resulting from the storm, butan unconfirmed report stated that two people received minorinjuries and returned home from the hospital during the night.

The area most severely affected is from Interstate 55 west tothe county line in the northwest corner of the county, according toLincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey. Fairlyextensive damage is reported along Highway 550 and Bouie Mill,Jackson-Liberty and Allred Roads.

Jim Butch, with the National Weather Service, said there was norotation, an indication of a tornado. He said the damage was causedby a macroburst. A macroburst is caused when the heavier cold airsinks down and brings rain, creating an outflow wind.

“Usually what you see is everything blown out in the samedirection,” Butch said.

According to Butch, the Loyd Star macroburst caused winds of anestimated 80-100 mph to create a path of damage approximately 5-6miles wide.

“It’s pretty bad,” he said. “It’s a mess.”

Jackson-Liberty and Bouie Mill Roads were mostly cleared byMonday morning, but there was only one lane of travel in severalareas.

“It’s something back in here,” said Vernon Cade, who lives onJackson-Liberty Road.

Cade said he heard several large thunderclaps after he went tobed last night and then the storm really hit.

“You ought to have heard the trees popping,” he said.

Cade is taking it all in stride, although he is thankful neitherhe nor his wife, Aronell Cade, were hurt.

” You can’t help it,” he said. “It does this.”

Kenny Case and his wife walked away from their home when treescollapsed on it in a mobile home park located on Jackson-LibertyRoad.

The home was destroyed but no one was hurt, according to afriend Sam Hudgins.

“They walked away from it,” he said. “They were very lucky.”

Hudgins went to the stricken area last night and again thismorning checking on his in-laws, Paul and Clara Kimble. TheKimble’s home had its windows blown out and sustained some otherdamage from the 70-80 mph winds.

Hudgins said it took him two hours last night to get from hishome on Highway 550 to their home on Jackson-Liberty Road becauseof the downed trees and rough weather.

Bradley and Donna Calcote of Bouie Mill Road had the roof takenfrom their home and winds moved the house about five feet off itsfoundation.

Several sheds were also blown away and trees fell acrossvehicles along Bouie Mill Road.

“I’ve got a trampoline and a picnic table in some part of thiscounty,” said Roger Rich of damages at his Bouie Mill Roadhome.

An estimated 3,500 people were still without power Monday, and apower official said it may be two to three days before power can becompletely restored.

“We have a bunch of poles down,” said Clinton Allen, aconstruction superintendent with Southwest Mississippi ElectricPower Association. “A lot of the damage is off-road, so it’s hardto get to.”

Allen estimated at least 50 poles had been downed and about3,000 customers were without power. He said the association hasbrought in 10 outside crews from across the regional area to helpwith repairs.

“We haven’t had one this bad for a long time,” he said. “We’llget a lot of it today, but it will be a couple of days before wecan restore everyone.”

Jim Hedges, with Entergy, said their situation is better.

“We were fortunate. There were only about 500 (customers) outaround Loyd Star,” he said.

By Monday morning, that number had declined to about 300.

“We should have them back on some time today,” Hedges said. “Iwould guess mid-afternoon at the latest.”

Loyd Star School was without power and closed today.Superintendent of Education Perry Miller said classes will resumeTuesday. There was no damage to the school buildings, he said.

Entergy also suffered some power grid damage, he said, but itwould not affect customers. Four high-voltage transmissionstructures were destroyed that are part of the power transfersystem from generators to substations. He said the loss to the gridis not crucial at this time of the year and it would have been muchmore severe had it occurred during the summer when customers neededtheir air conditioners.