City, county escape damage; storm blamed for Alcorn student’s death

Published 9:51 am Thursday, November 1, 2018

Warren County avoided serious damage when a severe storm system crossed Mississippi late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

“We fared a lot better than I feared we would,” Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer said.

He said trees were down on Old Highway 27, Mississippi 27 and Warriors Trail at Silver Creek, and scattered outages were reported in the county.

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Entergy customer service representative Shelia McKinnis said 1,102 Entergy customers in Warren County were without power, with 317 outages reported in Bovina and 534 in Vicksburg. She said power was expected to be restored later Thursday.

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield, who is over the city’s public works department, said the tree on Old 27 took down power lines when it fell, and a tree branch fell on a line in the Grove Street area, knocking out power there. He said another tree fell on Harris Street, affecting electric service in that area.

“That was all we had reported,” he said. “I think the city did quite well considering what came over us.”

Alan Campbell, meteorologist at the National Weather Service Jackson office, said the storm system preceded a cold front that is expected to make its way through the state Thursday. He said the chance for severe weather has passed, although clouds were expected to remain over the area for the rest of Thursday. Cooler temperatures are expected behind the front, he said.

Heavy rain and possible tornados were predicted as the system approached the state Wednesday.

Campbell said the southwestern area of the storm, which hit southwest Mississippi and east central Louisiana, appeared to be the most severe. Natchez reported heavy damage from a possible tornado, and Campbell said weather radar indicated some rotation in that area as the storm passed through Natchez. He said survey teams were going into the area to assess the damage.

The storm has been blamed for at least one death.

Jayla A. Gray, 19, of Jackson, a student at Alcorn State University in Lorman, was killed when the car in which she was a passenger struck a tree that had fallen across the southbound lane of U.S. 61 South near Mississippi 462 in Claiborne County 2 miles north of Port Gibson, according to information from the Mississippi Highway Patrol. The driver and another passenger in car were not injured.

About 10 minutes later, according to the MHP report, a second car hit the tree.

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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