Miss-Lou dodges damage from severe storms

Published 12:11 am Tuesday, October 14, 2014

NATCHEZ A storm system that caused severe damage across several Southern states Monday brought only heavy rains and strong winds to the Miss-Lou.

Adams County and Concordia Parish were under a tornado watch and hazardous weather advisory for a majority of the day Monday, but National Weather Service meteorologist Joanne Culin said the area didn’t see the same severe weather as other parts of the South.

“We’ve definitely seen some severe weather throughout the state, but we haven’t gotten many reports from the Natchez area of damage,” Culin said. “In terms of severe weather, that has moved out and the rain will continue for a while longer.”

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The rain, Culin said, was expected to clear overnight Monday and leave sunny skies today for the remainder of the week.

The storms also brought a cold front that reduced temperatures down from 81 degrees at 2 p.m. Monday to 63 degrees by 4:30 pm.

Temperatures were expected to remain cool throughout the night Monday and early this morning, with a slight rise to the low 70s by this afternoon.

But despite the lack of impact by the storms, preparation for worse still took place.

Natchez Mayor Butch Brown said he gave all city employees the opportunity to leave early Monday afternoon in hopes of giving them a chance to get home safely before the storms were expected to hit the area.

“I’d have to guess that about two-thirds of the employees went home to be safe and make sure everything was all right,” Brown said. “But I think everything went well as far as the storms here, because I didn’t receive any damage reports or hear of anything significant.”

Entergy spokesman Tim Runnels said Natchez managed to miss out on a string of severe storms that significantly impacted several areas in the company’s system.

Runnels said at the peak time of the storms nearly 200 Natchez residences were without power Monday.

“If we look over at the West Monroe area, they had nearly 33,000 people without power (Monday), and here we sat with just a few hundred,” Runnels said. “We were sitting here thinking it was too good to be true and that we would get an increase once people got off work and went back to their houses, but we didn’t really see that many.

“I think we were very fortunate.”

Runnels said the work Entergy crews have done to systematically cut and trim trees surrounding vital power lines paid off Monday.

“When these winds come through and knock these limbs down, that’s when the most damage is done,” Runnels said. “I think we saw the benefit of all the tree trimming our guys have been doing.”

In other parts of Mississippi, A fertilizer warehouse in Greenville lost much of its roof around 1 p.m. Monday, but no injuries were reporter.

Widespread tree damage and some property damage were also reported as a squall line moved through Starkville.

More than 10,000 electrical customers lost power at various times. Some of the worst outages were concentrated in Noxubee, Rankin, Simpson and Warren counties.

Hail was reported in Carroll, Hinds, Jefferson, Oktibbeha and Warren counties.

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Monday as severe weather moved across Louisiana ahead of a cold front, downing trees and power lines and leaving thousands without electricity.

The National Weather Service in Shreveport said the storms brought high winds and rain over much of north Louisiana. A tornado reportedly touched down near Bawcomville in Ouachita Parish.

No reports of any injuries associated with the weather were reported.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.