Clean up from storm continues in area

Published 3:35 pm Friday, December 28, 2018

No deaths or injuries have been reported in Warren County as a result of Thursday’s strong storms that rolled through the area, causing large trees to topple and power outages in some areas.

Crews were out assessing and cleaning up in several areas Friday, but primarily in an area east of Highway 61 North along and off Oak Ridge Road where some homes were reportedly damaged from falling trees.

According to the Associated Press, the National Weather Service planned to check the Vicksburg area on Friday for evidence of a tornado, said forecaster Mike Edmunston in Jackson.

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Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said Thursday straight-line winds definitely moved eastward from the harbor and caused a majority of the damage along Oak Ridge Road, Culkin Road, Tucker Road, Boy Scout Road and Freetown Road areas. Trees were also reported down on Robert E. Lee Blvd., Cobblestone Drive, Granite Way, Emerald Way and Lake Forest Drive in Openwood Plantation subdivision.

Crews were also cleaning up areas of the Vicksburg National Military Park Friday where large trees were reported down near the National Cemetery.

VNMP Superintendent Bill Justice said Friday the tour road and visitor center is open to the public after members of the Friends of the VNMP and some park employees cleared the area of debris and “people can go through the park,” despite the current government shutdown.

He said, however, the National Cemetery was “particularly hard hit by the storm and in addition to quite a number of trees down, there are also branches in trees that are really dangerous.”

“People need to stay out of the National Cemetery and stay out of that area,” Justice said. “It is too dangerous to do a conditional assessment and we will not do anything until after the shutdown to do a conditional assessment. And I have no idea how long it will be to get to that point.”

The Kings community suffered some minor damage, but nothing major, according to Alderman Mike Mayfield. He said the only real damage was to the city’s water treatment plant where high winds blew off a portion of the roof that covered the filtration system, which is still operational. He said crews are taking precautions to limit any further damage to the roof and an assessment should be available by Wednesday.

“Mostly flash flooding and trees that were down,” Mayfield said. “The real damage seemed to be in the rural area. In the city limits, we had the usual trees down that had to be cut out of the road.”

Some trees took down power lines.

According to Entergy Mississippi, as many as 8,192 people were without power Thursday during the peak of the storm. As of 5:30 Thursday evening, about 1,900 customers were without power. And as of Friday afternoon, Warren County only had a handful of customers without power.