Wed. storm damage impacts 18 homes

Published 5:00 am Friday, March 27, 2009

One end of D. D. McCullough’s chicken house at Jordan Creek Farmon Mt. Olive Road now has a tarp covering it, and McCullough saidone more big wind could pull the roof all the way off.

Damage from this week’s storms so far has caused him around$15,000 worth of damage, and Friday night’s weather looks like itcould be much worse than the system that struck the southeastcorner of the county Wednesday night.

“I don’t even want to know,” McCullough said as he walked backtoward his house, where in the yard lay several large trees -snapped like match sticks.

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Officials said after the final count from Wednesday night’sstorm, 18 homes and two agricultural businesses in Lincoln Countyrecorded moderate to severe damage. Civil Defense Director CliffordGaley said Thursday night’s storm activity was mild incomparison.

“Last night, I know we had one severe thunderstorm warning, andit involved some nickel- and dime-sized hail,” he said Fridaymorning. “Some was reported at Enterprise School up to Dale Trail,and I don’t know how wide that path is. Other than that we faredpretty well, though we got a lot of rain and I’m sure the normalroads that flood are going to be covered with water today.”

Galey said the time to take precaution will be Friday night, asanother full round of stormy weather is set to head through LincolnCounty.

“I don’t have anything official from the National WeatherService this morning, but sometime this afternoon or early eveningit’s going to start again, and around midnight, we’ve got thepossibility of the whole realm of severe weather again,” hesaid.

Galey said the system could include strong wind, heavy rain, andhail, with possible tornadic activity.

Meanwhile, Magnolia Electric Power Company took the brunt ofWednesday’s activity. Crews restored power yesterday to all but 45residences in Lincoln County and five in Amite County.

Thursday night’s storm affected power in the area again, saidMember Services Director Lucy Shell, with about 300 outages inLincoln County.

“Guys are out there working today, and we’ve still got thecontract crews who will be working throughout the day trying to geteverybody restored,” she said Friday.

Shell said the ferocity of the storms is apparent, as a springor summer storm will often break a power pole, but this round ofbad weather has taken much more of a toll.

“Normally you may have one broken pole, just to let people knowhow severe these storms have been,” she said. “Our two-day total isthat we’ve had 18 broken poles.”

Entergy Customer Services Manager Kenny Goza said Entergy’ssystem was relatively unaffected Thursday night, but that they aremaking preparations for Friday.

“We’ll make sure all our equipment is ready and that we have ourresources prepared to respond as needed,” Goza said.

Southwest Mississippi EPA Public Relations Coordinator AzaleaKnight said they only had about 40 Lincoln County customers wholost power Thursday night, but they were restored by 6 a.m.Friday.

As far as the rest of the day goes, Knight said Southwest isprepared.

“We have 24-hour dispatch, we don’t have a call center,” shesaid. “We have service men ready to go 24 hours a day, and ladiesthat are on call to come in to answer the phone to help dispatch incase of an emergency. This is in place all the time.”