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Friday storm packs less punch than first thought

The storm many weather forecasters had predicted would bringdisastrous weather on Lincoln County flooded a lot of low-lyingareas, but did not bring the wind damage Wednesday night’s stormsdid, officials said.

Still, there were some alarming moments, like one reported bysome Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies.

Reserve Deputy Patrick Brown said a group of them had takencover at the old Chevron gas station on Highway 84 across fromBozeman Chevron. Suddenly the lightning became frightening.

“Around that time was when a lightning bolt came from the skyand hit the Chevron sign, but we didn’t know that until the lightscame back on,” Brown said. “Everything went out for like fiveseconds and then came back on, and the only thing that didn’t comeback on was that small sign. It was kind of freaky.”

Brown said the lightning strike was close to where the gas tankswere, which was a sobering thought for the group.

“Generally when you see a lightning strike it flashes then itgoes away,” he said. “This one was so close you didn’t hear the bigboom, but you could see particles dissipate off it. It was reallycool, but I don’t want to be that close to a lightning strikeagain. It scared us to death.”

Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey said the main extent ofthe damage from two waves of a major storm system that came throughFriday night was flooding on the roads in the southern half of thecounty. He said his official report to MEMA showed 18 roads andbridges flooded in Lincoln County.

“From the storm yesterday, we had a little over 3 inches at myoffice,” Galey said Saturday. “But we had reports of as much as 9inches in Bogue Chitto.”

There was no tree damage reported, Galey said, which was asurprise since the ground was so wet. Nickel- and dime-sized hailwas reported in the Bogue Chitto area, and in the area ofEnterprise school.

“We didn’t have any damage from the hail that was reported,” hesaid.

Since there are still some roads with possible floodingproblems, Galey urged caution for people who might be travelingroads that might still be covered in water.

“Hopefully they’ll be all dried up by Monday morning,” he said.”But people still need to be careful, there may be a hole in theroad that you can’t see because of the water.”

Compared to earlier in the week, electric company officialsreported a much quieter day as well. Both Entergy and MagnoliaElectric reporting only a light spattering of Lincoln Countyoutages.

Entergy Account Service Manager Kenny Goza said about 150-200customers lost power in Lincoln and Lawrence County Friday night.He said Entergy workers quickly restored power in their home areaand then went to McComb to help with damage there.

Magnolia Electric Member Services Manager Lucy Shell said only150 of their 800 outages were in Lincoln County, and those had allbeen restored by 1 p.m.

“Last night’s storms did produce outages but not nearly as badas the two previous nights,” she said Saturday.

Southwest Electric Power Company officials were not availablefor comment.