Strong winds blamed for tree damage

Published 7:35 pm Thursday, December 27, 2018

Vicksburg and Warren County were placed under a series of severe weather alerts as a storm system moved east across the county Thursday morning.

The storm caused problems in the area with reports of local street flooding and trees down blocking roads.

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Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said most of the problems were in the northern part of the county with multiple reports of trees down across the county and reports of roof damage.

“We had a very strong thunderstorm come through about 9:30, 10 o’clock, with heavy rain and strong straight-line winds,” Pace said. “Our biggest traffic problem right now is on Oak Ridge Road at the Super Junior, where we have a tree with power lines blocking both sides of the road. We are waiting for the power company.”

Pace said roof damage was reported in Culkin and the Eagle Lake area.

“There may be other damage that has not been reported,” he added.

Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said straight-line winds are to blame for damage from the storm that went through the Oak Ridge, Culkin, Freetown, Boy Scout and Tucker roads area around 9:30 Thursday morning.

“It went due east from the harbor to Tucker and hit that whole area,” Elfer said.

Elfer said there was no confirmed tornado, and no injuries were reported from the storm.

Vicksburg National Military Park Superintendent Bill Justice said weather conditions and scattered downed trees forced park officials to close the park.

“There was the rain and the lightening, and we had trees either blocking or partially blocking the tour road, so we closed the park out of concern for safety,” he said.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said high winds blew off a portion of the roof at the city’s water treatment plant in the section where the plant’s filtration system is located.

“Some debris fell into the filter system, but the plant is still in operation; we haven’t closed it down,” he said.

He said the city is declaring an emergency to get the damage repaired as soon as possible.

Editor Rob Sigler contributed to this report.

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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