One injured as high winds hop through county|[06/20/07]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Nell Mendrop had just turned on her television to catch a weather report when she heard quite a racket outside.

&#8220I was making my apple pie,” she said. &#8220They didn’t even say anything about Warren County. It happened so quick.”

Mendrop, 83, was fortunate to escape unhurt from her home in Sullivan Cove at Eagle Lake Tuesday as high winds accompanying a quick-hitting rainstorm toppled a tree behind the home, smashed through the middle of the tiny, wood-frame house and sliced through a bedroom of a neighboring home.

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&#8220All I heard was a noise, a piercing noise,” Mendrop said, sitting comfortably across from the wreckage with her daughter, Bette Paul.

Tyler and Jennifer Willis, residents of the home next door, were shaken from their beds by the falling tree trunk. Jennifer was treated at River Region Medical Center and released later in the day.

Lynn Burse, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service, said the band of storms moved so fast that it didn’t last long enough for severe rainfall, like there was in Northern Mississippi. Although many areas got more, the official measurement here was .05 inch of rain.

&#8220There was a lot of wind and a lot of lightning, but nothing like a tornado,” Burse said.

Warren Country Sheriff Martin Pace said the county road department went to the fallen tree sights as quickly as the reports came in.

No trees &#8220blocked traffic for significant time,” Pace said.

Nicole Vera, communications training director with the 911 dispatch center, said there were no injuries reported other than the incident at Eagle Lake. Throughout the night 17 trees fell and seven wrecks were reported.

Vera said so many calls were coming in during the storm, the secretary had to pitch in and help with the phones.

&#8220It usually doesn’t take a whole lot of rain to start a mess,” Vera said.

Even though there were no injuries, she said the trees hitting power lines were a big issue. Electricity went out when a tree fell on a power line at Mississippi 27.

It was reported that homes on U.S. 61 South were without power for approximately two hours and homes on Jefferson Davis Road lost power for more than eight hours.

Elsewhere in Mississippi, the line of severe thunderstorms pushed through, damaging homes and businesses and causing the evacuation of some neighborhoods.

Some areas of the state were drenched with as much as 6 inches of rain and gusting winds were recorded around 60 mph in Greenwood and Rankin County, said Jim Fairly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson.

The Tillatoba Creek in Tallahatchie County overflowed in three different spots, causing the evacuation of some residents in at least three subdivisions east of Charleston, said Thad Roberts, the county’s emergency management director.

The storms brought flash floods and violent winds that damaged roads, and snarled traffic in some areas.

&#8220We’ve had some pretty significant reports of flooding up in Grenada,” Fairly said.