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Severe weather spawns high winds, flash floods

A line of strong thunderstorms passed through Warren County Thursday afternoon, carrying high winds and dropping nearly two inches of rain before moving east late in the afternoon.

The storms began moving through the area about noon. According to the National Weather Service Office in Jackson, the area received 1.9 inches of rain between noon and about 4:15 p.m., when the storms began to weaken.

Damage and downed trees were reported in the county, but the situation was nowhere near the damage that occurred April 13, when three EF-2 tornados hit the area, officials said.

The heavy rain produced a large volume of water that overwhelmed city and county storm drains causing flash flooding on several Vicksburg streets and county roads, officials said.

“The water just went down on Sky Farm (Avenue) and it’s receding everywhere now; it was a mess for a while,” North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said.

He said there were few reports of downed trees in the city, and people needed to be cautious because of potential damage left from the weekend storms.

“So many of them (trees) are out there where the roots have been exposed, so we know without a doubt we’re going to have more trees to fall for that reason,” he said. “We’ve been blessed so far that not many have turned loose.”

He said people should call the city if they see trees leaning so the problem can be addressed.

The biggest problem, he said, is debris from the previous storms clogging the city’s storm drain system.

Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer said a total of 18 trees were reported down in the county and several roads closed.

He said a tree fell on a house on Lake Boulevard causing minor damage.

While this storm was not near as intense as the April 13 storm, he said, “It was pretty severe. We came out better than Hinds County.”

Tornados were reported in Clinton, Learned, Raymond and Utica, he said.

Sheriff Martin Pace said the downed trees were the result of straight-line winds and already saturated ground, adding the downed trees were reported from “Timberlane south to Oak Ridge North; pretty much county-wide.”

“The sheriff’s office has responded to multiple reports of road blockage due to trees down, some with power lines, some without. Entergy and Yazoo Valley are working to clear the power lines and county road crews are working to clear the trees as fast as they can,” he said.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, 1,004 Entergy customers in Warren County were without power.

Hinds County, which was dealt a more severe blow, reported more than 13,000 customers without power.

The severe weather threat also resulted in the early dismissal of schools throughout Warren County.

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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