Storm scrapes by area

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 11, 2000

The Miss-Lou got some much-needed rain Friday — and some unwanted hail and high winds as well. Thunderstorms caused only minor damage throughout the area.

&uot;We had a scare. Other than that the wind blew by,&uot; Civil Defense Director George Souderes.

The county remained under a thunderstorm watch for most of the afternoon and under a thunderstorm warning from 5:12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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Forest Persons, customer service manager for Entergy in Natchez, said about 200 to 300 power customers were affected by downed power lines in the Melrose area, and there were scattered problems throughout the county. &uot;We did some switching and got most of them back on,&uot; he said.

The storm knocked down trees on Hutchins Landing Road, Cloverdale Road, Greenfield Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

The storm caused four minor vehicle accidents throughout the city, Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff said.

And police blocked off an intersection of John A. Quitman Boulevard because of power outages in that area.

About 5,000 Concordia Electric Cooperative customers were affected by power outages caused lines downed by broken utility poles, falling trees and other debris or blown down by high winds.

&uot;We’ve got power outages from Jena and Harrisonburg and Larto all the way to Ferriday,&uot;&160;Billy Harris, general manager of Concordia Electric, said at 6:15 p.m. Friday.

Power was expected to be restored by 9:30 p.m. Friday, Harris said.

The Catahoula Parish Sheriff’s Office received at least four reports of possible tornadoes throughout that parish, but no injuries or major property damage were reported.

Ferriday Police Chief Eddie Newman sid trees were down throughout Concordia Parish, but there were no injuries.

&uot;It got rough, but we were blessed,&uot; he said.

The Ferriday Fire Department removed trees that fell across Texas Avenue and Carolina Avenue due to the storm. A shed was blown away by high winds on Huntington Drive, and Ferriday residents also reported other storm-related damage, mostly shingles blown off roofs of buildings.

The Concordia Fire District No. 2 also received numerous calls of storm damage throughout Concordia Parish, although no injuries were reported.

The Vidalia Police Department reported no power outages, injuries or property damage, and no power outages or injuries were reported to Ferriday police.

Natchez Police lost power to its radio system during the storm and switched to back-up, Huff said. Officers were switching their radios just as Officer Billy Joe Frazier was responding to a family disturbance on East Woodlawn Avenue.

Until help could arrive, Frazier struggled to separate James Johnson, 67, 4 East Woodlawn Avenue and a 13-year-old who were fighting in the street.

Other units were already on route prior to the switch in power, Huff said.

Both suspects were charged with disturbing the peace.

The rain came on the same day the Mississippi Forestry Commission reinstated a statewide burning ban because dry conditions have contributed to severe grass fires across the state.