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Storm knocks out power for around 400 in area

Magnolia Electric Power Association officials said Thursday’stornado gave them quite a bit of work to do, but that they were upto the challenges.

Member Services Director Lucy Shell said about 400 meters wereaffected by the tornado that touched down in the Heuck’s Retreatarea around 9 a.m. Thursday.

“It affected from Industrial Park Road north to the Lake Lincolnarea,” she said. “We started getting calls about outages around 9a.m. and we had most of them back on by 1:15 p.m.”

She said there were also homes in the Fair River community thathad power outages due to high winds and downed trees, as well asproblems scattered across the rest of the association’s coveragearea, which includes Pike, Walthall, Amite, Franklin and Lawrencecounties.

“We had the trees down due to the winds, and we were fortunatenot to have any broken poles,” Shell said.

She said debris was hanging from the lines in several places,however.

“We had to clean it off the lines and get them clear before wecould restore the power,” she said. “That’s why it took solong.”

Shell said the response to Thursday’s storms were an example ofhow the power company has put an extra emphasis on having emergencyplans ever since Hurricane Katrina. She said the plan had been inplace for some time before that, as well, but that Katrina had seento it that they shine extra light on the details of emergencyresponse.

“We do have an emergency restoration plan that we are preparedto follow at any time,” she said.