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Storm hits quickly in local area

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Strong winds uprooted a massive tree that smashed into a house on Cassidy Street Tuesday afternoon. No one was home during the incident.

THE DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Strong winds uprooted a massive tree that smashed into a house on Cassidy Street Tuesday afternoon. No one was home during the incident.

A sudden and short burst of heavy storm activity that hit the local area with little warning left thousands without power Tuesday afternoon and toppled trees.

“It (the storm) came out of nowhere,” said Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey.

“We had received a severe thunderstorm warning for the northern part of the county. By the time we got it, the storm was on us,” said Galey, who reported hail, several incidences of fallen trees, power outages and strong winds. Since there was no tornado warning, Galey did not sound the city storm sirens.

Entergy Customer Service Accounts Manager Bill Howard said approximately 1,315 local customers went without power at some point Tuesday night. The largest outage occurred when a tree and tree limbs fell on a power line on Highway 51 at approximately 4:20 Tuesday afternoon.

More than a 1,000 residents along Highway 84 and all the way up Brookway Boulevard were affected by the outage, Howard said.

Other outages were scattered throughout the city, affecting 200-300 more customers, Howard said. By 12:30 Tuesday morning, all power in the Brookhaven area had been restored.

Magnolia Electric Member Services Director Lucy Shell said all power in the Lincoln County area was restored by midnight, including the Arlington community, which “was hardest hit by the storm” in the Magnolia Electric area.

A total peak of 4,100 Magnolia customers were without power Tuesday night, a number that reflects a wide swath of area including Lincoln, Pike and Rankin Counties, Shell said.

Fallen trees and large branches were responsible for most of the power outages. A 15-to-20 foot branch that was split off a tree on South Jackson Street fell on a power line, and then onto the road, disrupting power for surrounding residents and blocking traffic on the street.

Other street blockages were reported in the city and across the county due to fallen trees. At least two homes were struck by fallen trees; one house on Cassidy Street was smashed by an uprooted tree that toppled onto the house, extending through the attic and into the interior. Another house was hit by a tree on East Lincoln Road, Galey said.

Just minutes after the storm arrived, it was gone, leaving a tangible definition of the storm hard to come by. “I would call it a pop-up storm,” Galey said. “It popped up out of nowhere.”