Trees snap, power fails in storm|More expected tonight, Friday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 26, 2009

About 600 Warren County homes were without power this morning following the second night of storms, which downed many trees but damaged few homes and caused no injuries, city and county officials said.

“We had some strong winds and torrential rains, but it looks like we were spared the brunt of the storm,” said Sheriff Martin Pace. “Throughout the course of the night we responded to several calls of trees blocking the roadways, and we had those cleared pretty quickly. It was nothing compared to what some of the counties just south of us experienced.”

A tornado ripped through Simpson County and the town of Magee early this morning, injuring at least 20, damaging or destroying 60 homes and requiring three people to be airlifted to Jackson for medical treatment, said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn. Their conditions were not available.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“There’s going to be two more rounds of severe weather, so people should not be letting their guard down. We’re only halfway through, and this was supposed to be the lighter night of storms,” Flynn said.

The power outages in Warren County were spotty, said Entergy spokesman Don Arnold, located primarily in areas south of Interstate 20 such as Nailor Road, Walnut Circle, Winchester Road and Poole Road. Arnold said some customers may be without power throughout the day and night.

“It’s going to be a long, drawn-out thing,” Arnold said. “We’re trying to get extra help in, but because this storm is so widespread we’re going to have trouble getting extra crews.”

Arnold said a crew from Cleveland, Miss., likely would arrive this morning, while other crews from Louisiana and Arkansas should be here by this evening.

Pace said 23 trees were reported down throughout the evening over county roadways. Reports of structural damage came from residents of Vernon Lane, North Drive and West Drive. Barry Graham, spokesman for the City of Vicksburg, said there were no injuries in the city limits, and the only major damage was caused by a large tree that fell at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Eric Carpenter, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said severe weather likely will skirt Vicksburg tonight — but added the worst storms are forecast to occur Friday evening.

“As far as tonight goes, I think the worst is going to be a little south of Vicksburg, but we’re looking at the most severe weather probably coming tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night,” he said. “Tomorrow evening through midnight will bring the best chance of super cell thunderstorms, which could create some very large storms and possibly some large hail, straight line winds or tornadoes.”

Slightly more than 2 inches of rainfall was recorded at the Port of Vicksburg in the 24-hour period ending at 7 this morning, NWS Senior Service Hydrologist Marty Pope said in Jackson. A total of 3.3 inches has fallen in Vicksburg since Tuesday, he said.

Pace said a total of 23 total trees were reported down on roadways

Other reports of downed trees, power lines and damaged homes came in across the Deep South, caused by the band of heavy thunderstorms and high winds moving across the region. In Louisiana, storms knocked out electricity to about 40,000 customers. Flynn said structural damage, downed trees and power outages were reported to MEMA in eight Mississippi counties, including Simpson, Lauderdale, Madison, Lincoln, Jones, Jasper, Adams and Amite counties.

“Simpson was clearly the worst,” he said.


Contact Steve Sanoski at