Monday storm dumps 7 inches of rain

Published 1:49 pm Tuesday, April 15, 2014

High winds spawned by strong thunderstorms damaged two buildings in the Eagle Lake area Monday afternoon, knocked out power to more than 2,000 residents and dropped a total of 7 inches of rain across Warren County between midnight Monday and midnight today, county emergency management officials said.

Entergy spokesman Tammy Rankin said trees and limbs on power lines were responsible for most of the outages, knocking down lines and breaking several utility poles. At one point Monday night and early this morning, she said, a total of 2,500 customers across the county were without power. One of the largest areas was along Warrenton Road south of the Riverwalk Casino, where 500 people were without power.

“We had to replace five or six poles during the night,” she said. She added power had been restored to all but about 400 customers by 8:30 a.m. today.

“The amount of rain depended on where you were,” emergency manager John Elfer said, adding 7 inches of rain was recorded at Eagle Lake, while the city’s wastewater treatment plant reported 4.11 inches for the 24-hour period.

He said high winds blew the roof off a boathouse on Shell Beach Road, damaging the building and the boat. He said the flying metal roof also damaged a house and pickup on Catfish Alley.

He added local flooding caused by the heavy rains put 1 inch of water in a house on Road Runner Road. Early Monday morning, sheriff’s deputies were forced to close the junction of Paxton Road and Old Highway 27 after it went under water from heavy rain.

Sheriff Martin Pace said scattered reports of downed trees blocking roads across the county kept deputies busy until about 2 a.m. today.

“We had 44 calls between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. about roads being blocked,” Pace said. He said the trees were removed from the roadways by deputies with chain saws and county road crews.

In Vicksburg, the storms caused mudslides along North Washington Street from the Klondyke north to Haining Road, and knocked down trees in the city, Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said.

“They were in different spots,” he said. “We had one down on Porters Chapel Road and another on (U.S.) Highway 61 South.”

The downed tree on U.S. 61 South blocked the highway’s southbound lanes and forced police to turn around and redirect traffic while city crews worked to remove the obstruction. Earlier in the day, a fallen tree blocked Belva Drive and knocked out power to residents in that area for about four hours.

“We’ll be able to clean off the slide areas once things dry out,” Van Norman said. “We don’t need any more rain. We don’t need anything like that (Monday’s rain) for a while.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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