Quick-moving storm belts county225 without power this morning; more rain forecast

Published 11:44 am Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Scattered power outages remained throughout Warren County today following a fast-moving weather system that dumped rain and knocked down trees Monday afternoon.

About 225 customers were still without electricity this morning, said Entergy spokesman Don Arnold. Included were 48 in the Bovina area, 34 on Bellaire Drive and “onesies and twosies all over the place,” Arnold added.

At the height of the storm, around 3:30 p.m. Monday, 2,300 of the 22,000 Entergy customers in the county lost power, he said.

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“Trees were the main culprit of this one,” Arnold noted. “The concern is when you get a lot of rain, it loosens the soil around the trees and with any wind they just topple over.”

“I definitely think (the level of concern) is higher,” said Warren County Extension agent Wesley Purvis this morning. “Especially with bigger trees, that may be a little off balance, the root system is not going to be able to hold.”

Homeowners should aim for keeping trees trimmed and balanced, especially around houses, Purvis said. “It’s a good practice, regardless of ground saturation,” he said.

About three-fourths of an inch of rain fell in Vicksburg Monday, the National Weather Service reported, most of it from 3:15 to about 3:50 p.m. Winds were recorded at 38 mph with gusts of 55 mph during the height of the storm.

Readings at the Vicksburg Water Plant showed rain totals for the year at 20.2 inches. Normal rainfall for the year is 16.9 inches.

Jeff Richardson, head of landscaping for the City of Vicksburg, said without the mild winter it would be more. “There has been lots of moisture pulled up from the Gulf, but we did not have the major cold fronts coming through in the winter that would have brought ice and snow.”

Richardson said lines were down around a large tree that fell Monday on a house at Speed and Lake streets in the city. No other major damages were reported, he said.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said trees were down throughout the county, some pulling wires down with them, but no major structural damages were reported.

“We had several trees down that did not have power lines on them, where citizens came along who had chain saws with them,” Pace said. “They stopped and assisted deputies and got the road cleared even before county crews arrived. It all cleared fairly quickly.”

The NWS is forecasting a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and tonight, with up to a half-inch of rain forecast. Showers and thunderstorms also were forecast for Wednesday and possibly into Thursday before clearing Thursday night.

Friday is forecast to be sunny, with a high near 79.