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Area officials report storm damage

A possible tornado that touched down in Franklin County didconsiderable damage to several homes and the weather caused homedamage in northern Copiah County, but Lawrence and Lincoln Countyofficials reported little to no damage from Tuesday’s storms.

“We had probably a tornado up high that went over just north ofHamburg on Norton Lane,” said Franklin County EMA Civil DefenseDirector Mark Thornton. “We’ve got five houses with damage and sixtrailers. Some of them had the roof taken off, and we had 15-20cars that had the windows shattered in them. I don’t know if thatwas from the pressure or from things blowing in the wind.”

The possible tornado hit between 7:45 and 8 p.m. while the countywas under a tornado warning, Thornton said. There was one personhurt, though his injuries were minor and he was not transported toa hospital for treatment.

Red Cross was on the scene last night and will meet with familieswho have lost their homes today, he said.

In Copiah County, several trees went down north of Crystal Springson Highway 27 and between Gallman and Crystal Springs, some ofwhich landed on “possibly three or four homes” in those areas, saidCopiah County 911 Coordinator Rick Stevens.

“We had several trees down blocking roads and some on houses, andsome downed power lines that caused some trees to catch on fire,”he said.

In addition, Wesson Police Chief Chad O’Quinn said a retaining wallin his house broke during the bad weather. Otherwise he had heardno other reports of weather-related damage in Wesson.

There were no injuries in Copiah County, Stevens said, andemergency officials will continue to check rural areas today fordamage that might have gone unreported.

Lawrence County officials said they had a piece of property where ahome and two outlying sheds were damaged by the winds.

“We had some trees down and some minor damage to one house and twosheds,” said Lawrence County Civil Defense Director RobertPatterson. “Up to this time, we’re still looking to make sure wehaven’t missed anything.”

But Brookhaven and Lincoln County officials say they’re gratefulthe area seems to have escaped unscathed from the night’storrential weather.

“We had three tornado warnings last night and three thunderstormwarnings, but no damage to my knowledge,” said Lincoln County CivilDefense Director Clifford Galey. “I didn’t get any reports of anytrees down, though. Just warnings and watches.”

Galey said, like the other counties, he would be checkingthroughout the day to make certain there was not damage that hadgone unreported. To his knowledge, though, all his area hadreceived was a good bit of rain and wind.

Assistant Brookhaven Police Chief Nolan Jones said the city alsocame through the weather well, relatively speaking.

“We had a report or two of street flooding, but our officerschecked on them and they were passable,” Jones said. “We had onepower pole that broke, and we’re not sure why, at Penn andMonticello around 11 p.m. Otherwise, no reports of anythingmajor.”

There were some power outages reported by local power companies inthe Copiah, Lincoln and Pike county areas.

Entergy reported a total of about 1,500 customers who went withoutpower during the storm, and Magnolia Electric Power Association hadaround 2,000. Southwest Electric Power Association numbers were notavailable.

“Most of ours were in Copiah County,” said Entergy CustomerAccounts Manager Kenny Goza. “There are still about 800 out inCopiah County, and we do have some outside help assisting us.”

Goza said about 200 of the initial outages were in the Brookhavenarea, but that this morning there were only about three customerswithout power. He said barring unforeseen circumstances, theyshould have power back by nightfall.

Magnolia Member Services Director Lucy Shell said most of theiroutages were in the Jayess and McComb areas, with three circuits inthose areas being responsible.

“We had three broken poles, and the outages were caused by wind andtrees,” she said. “Our guys worked through the night and goteveryone back up and running except for a few minor areas.”