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Recovery continues from weekend storms

City and county crews and Entergy and Yazoo Valley Electric workers continued the job of clearing roads and restoring power in Vicksburg and Warren County in the wake of the three, FE-2 tornados that hit the area.

Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer said as of Tuesday the tornados damaged a total of 126 homes — 76 in the city and 50 in the county — and 17 businesses. One of those was in the county. He said a Red Cross shelter opened Tuesday afternoon at First Baptist Church on Cherry Street.

Elfer said Entergy and Yazoo Valley Electric crews were working to restore power in the county. He said the cleanup was coming “slowly but surely,” adding the county had some “big time problems.”

He said Westwood Drive remained blocked, and crews were working at Openwood Plantation, “just everywhere, really. ”

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield, who is over public works, said the recovery work has been going well.

As soon as Entergy crews or one of the utility’s contract crews get the power lines out of fallen trees and back up, city crews are going in and cutting trees blocking city streets, he said.

“I think two-thirds of the streets have been opened, according to my guys in the field, so they’re going pretty good now,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield said one of the problems he is seeing is attempts by residents to cut paths through the fallen trees.

“People are beginning to take things in their own hands now, which is very, very dangerous,” he said. “They are going in there trying to pull wires out of the way. Most of those wires have been cut from the original pole, but there easily could be some that are easily alive. We just ask the people to be more patient with us.

“The city and Entergy are working as hard as they can; they city to get the road back open and Entergy to get the lights back on.”

Public works director Garnet Van Norman said the city has hired Flowood-based Lewis Electric to assist in restoring the city’s traffic signals.

“We’re following the Entergy crews,” he said. “Once we can get the roads and everything clear, then we can begin the cleanup.”

Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves joined Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. in a tour of damaged areas in the city.

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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