Heavy rains, strong winds wreak havoc on area

Published 12:30 am Tuesday, August 28, 2007

NATCHEZ — Winds gusted at 35 mph and nearly an inch of rain fell in the Miss-Lou Monday afternoon just after lunch.

An afternoon storm wreaked havoc around town, contributing to several car accidents and causing tree limbs to fall.

Herbert and Shirley Banks of 1253 Daisy St. suffered severe damage from the storm when a tree fell through their roof, collapsing a wall over two bedrooms and the kitchen.

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Their daughter Thamathy Banks Hunt was at the house with them when the tree fell.

“We heard the lightening storm, but we didn’t really know what it was,” she said. “We heard a big boom.”

Hunt went to help her mother out of a back bedroom and discovered the damage.

“The tree is in the house,” she said.

Her parents will stay in Hunt’s house temporarily, she said, but they don’t know what the next step will be.

The Red Cross was at the house Monday evening offering assistance.

Emergency Management Director George Souderes said he spent his time during and immediately after the storm on the roadways looking for localized flooding. Portions of the Roselawn subdivision, Liberty Road and Eastwood Road had flooding, he said. But once the rains ceased the water drained quickly.

“We recorded about an inch of rain downtown,” Souderes said. “To me, I thought a hurricane was coming through. Visibility was about zero and the wind was blowing.”

The Natchez Police Department responded to the downed tree on Daisy Street and one on Melrose Avenue. Souderes said he spotted limbs down on Sherwood Road.

The police department also responded to several traffic accidents during and right after the rains. Construction barrels on Liberty Road were reportedly blown into the roadway, causing one accident.