Storm downs trees, power lines in Miss-Lou

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

NATCHEZ – Winds gusted up to 50 miles an hour and two inches of rain fell in the Miss-Lou Monday, as Hurricane Katrina skirted to the east.

The worst of the storm hit Adams County and Concordia Parish just after noon and lasted for several hours.

Storms downed multiple power lines and dozens of trees across the area, even though the hurricane-force winds predicted for the area didn’t happen.

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The Adams County Civil Defense Office, with the help of public works crews and law enforcement agencies, was still working hard to fully assess the storm’s damage as of 5 p.m., when the worst of the storm appeared to be past.

“We’ll keep the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) open as long as we need to,” said Tracy Floyd of the Civil Defense Office.

Two hurricane-related deaths were reported in Natchez, Coroner James Lee said.

Joseph Casamento, 80, evacuated New Orleans with friends and was staying in a bed and breakfast on State Street when he died of natural causes.

Russell Kellogg, 80, was also in Natchez seeking refuge from Hurricane Katrina. He made the trip with family and died in the emergency room of a local hospital.

“Both men died of natural causes,” Lee said. “I feel that their age and the stress of fleeing from the hurricane contributed.”

The only storm-related injuries reported to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office as of 5 p.m. were minor injuries the residents of a house on Buckhart Road sustained when a tree fell on the house. No further information was available on those injuries at press time.

Natchez Regional Medical Center had treated two people with injuries from falling tree limbs: a person from Alcorn State University who underwent surgery and was in the ICU in guarded condition and another person who was treated and released. Names and further information on injuries were not available as of press time.

In part due to the influx of evacuees, Natchez Regional treated a much greater number of emergency room patients than usual for a variety of ailments, Administrator Jack Houghton said.

Natchez Community Hospital reported no storm-related injuries as of late Monday afternoon.