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Storm takes out power for thousands across Miss-Lou

 

NATCHEZ — Thousands of customers lost electric power and water across the Miss-Lou when severe storms struck the area early Thursday morning.

Tim Runnels of Entergy said at the worst of the outages 4,200 customers were in the dark in Natchez alone. Most of those outages occurred from College Street to Stiers Lane, along Martin Luther King and all of Morgantown Road with a few scattered outages along U.S. 61 North, Runnels said.

As of 9 p.m. power was restored to all but 1,000 customers, Runnels said. Work on the power lines continued until 10 p.m., giving the crews time to rest and start again today, he said.

“We have about 100 crewmen working on site in Natchez helping to restore power — that’s with Entergy and other construction workers,” Runnels said.

Areas with the most severe damage include Ram Circle, Oakland Drive and Mount Carmel Drive, Runnels said.

Outages were also reportedly scattered in Adams County, and in all nine counties serviced by Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association, said Debra McGee the group’s human resources and public relations specialist.

McGee said the most extensive damages she saw in Adams County were in the Kingston community.

“After the storm swept through in the early morning hours, our crews were out assessing the damage and starting restoration work,” she said.

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, less than 200 meters were out in the county, and the numbers would continue to decline until 11 p.m., McGee said.

“For their safety, our crews will stop working at 11 p.m. (Thursday) and will start back up again at 6 a.m. (Friday). We anticipate having the rest of the meters back on by noon (today).”

McGee said it’s possible that more damages may be found as the debris is cleared.

“As we gain access to roadways, we may encounter more damage, broken poles and spans of wire down,” she said. “We are aware of six broken poles in Adams County; two will be replaced before the crews stop working tonight.”

In Louisiana, more than 1,000 outages were reported in Tensas, LaSalle and Concordia Parish — spanning across Monterey, Acme, and Wildsville, said Lori Jackson, executive assistant for Concordia Electric.

Monterey’s water system also went down, forcing the Monterey school to close Thursday, one day before the school’s homecoming game.

“We were caught quite off guard today when we were told that they were shutting Monterey School down because they didn’t have water,” said Robert Rasberry, educator of gifted students in the parish, “We were told they have no power at the water plant.”

Jackson said it is difficult to determine as of Thursday evening when the power and water would be fully restored due to the extent of the damages.

“It’s a pretty good section line hit in Monterey,” she said. “More outages are scattered in Tensas and LaSalle parishes. … We’re down from 1,000 reported outages after repairs. … We have all hands on deck, and appreciate everyone’s patience.”

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