° empty

Storms, hail pummel parts of Miss.

JACKSON (AP) — Severe thunderstorms Monday raked across a wide area of the South, packing strong winds, rain and some baseball-size hail.

In Natchez, Adams County Emergency Management Director Stan Owens said he didn’t receive any major damage reports.

“The biggest hail I’ve heard reported in our area was about golf-ball size,” Owens said. “I’m sure they’ll be some minor dents from the hail, but nothing major in our area.”

In Mississippi, authorities reported two people were hit on the head by large hail as the enormous storm front crossed the region. Fire official Tim Shanks said baseball-sized hail smashed windows in several vehicles in Clinton, where the two people were hit. He had no immediate word on their condition.

National Weather Service meteorologist Anna Weber said there were reports of hail the size of softballs in some areas around Jackson.

“This is the time of year that we get hail storms, but hail this size is pretty rare,” Weber said.

Emergency officials said there were reports of downed trees or other damage in 14 Mississippi counties.

Roads throughout the Jackson area were littered with broken limbs and pine needles, from the hail driving through trees. Cars could be seen driving along the interstate with broken windows and cracked windshields.

“What I found interesting is that hail is the threat that we don’t talk about that much,” said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeff Rent. “But you can see how destructive it can be in a short amount of time. We got a tough lesson today.”