EMA, law enforcement say stay off roads, be very careful

Published 9:56 am Monday, August 30, 2021

Hurricane Ida has passed Lincoln County but the danger is not yet over.

Trees, debris and downed power lines in roadways and yards can pose serious hazards.

“Please don’t get on the roads this morning unless absolutely necessary,” Emergency Management Director Chris Reid said Monday.

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“There are trees and power lines down throughout the City and County. Crews will be working on cleaning up and restoring power as the threats from the storm pass our area.”

Mississippi Highway Patrol, Brookhaven Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office also urged motorists to stay off the roads except in case of emergency.

Entergy gave the following post-storm tips:

  • Stay away from downed power lines and areas of debris. Energized power lines may not be visible among the rubble. Report downed lines immediately to Entergy at 1-800-ENTERGY and call your local police station or fire department.
  • Return home only when authorities advise it, and drive only on roadways and bridges that have been declared passable.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle while driving, continue to drive away from the line.
  • Don’t walk in flooded areas or standing water. Remember that wet tree limbs can conduct electricity.
  • Be cautious when entering your home, and watch for snakes, insects and other animals that may have been driven to higher ground by flood water.
  • If you use a portable electric generator, do so only in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Never connect a generator directly to a building’s wiring without a licensed electrician disconnecting the house wiring from service. Otherwise, it can create a safety hazard for the customer or linemen working to restore power. And it may damage the generator or the house wiring.
  • Don’t step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker.
  • Look for electrical system damage once power is restored. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if the smell of hot insulation is noticeable, turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Call a licensed electrician for advice when necessary.
  • Stay alert for natural gas leaks. If you smell natural gas, or if you hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and leave the area immediately. Do not operate electrical switches. If possible, turn the outside main gas valve off and call 1-800-368-3749 from a neighbor’s house.
  • Stay tuned to your local radio station for emerging safety information.
  • Check for sewage and water line damage. Avoid using the toilets and call a licensed plumber if you suspect pipes or water lines are damaged. If water pipes are damaged, avoid tap water and contact the water company immediately.
  • If your home is wet, open doors and windows to dry it.
  • Examine all foods in the refrigerator, and dispose of anything that has spoiled.
  • Take numerous pictures of any damage to your house, as well as the contents, for insurance claims.
  • After the storm can be as intense a time for everyone as it is during the storm. Be patient. Use your emergency supplies kit until help arrives. Help your neighbor, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Tend to the injured, and call emergency personnel for help when it’s needed.