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In recovery phase of Hurricane Delta officials urge patience

NATCHEZ — Adams County Emergency Management crews are working to assess the overall damage wrought by Hurricane Delta that moved through Southwest Mississippi on Friday night and Saturday, officials said.

“It is probably going to take two days for us to do a complete damage assessment on the local level and the state will come and do another damage assessment for the federal declaration,” said Robert Bradford Sr., Adams County Emergency Management director on Sunday. “The shelter (Adams County Safe Room, 323 Liberty Road) is still open and will be open until everybody inside has a safe place to go and a plan of action for them to continue being safe throughout the county. We ask people to call the Red Cross number 1-800-RED-CROSS if they need anything.”

Bradford said approximately 50 people stayed in the Safe Room during the storm and four people were still sheltering there Sunday.

Adams County, Bradford said, was fortunate not to have any storm-related injuries but some people were trapped in their homes by trees that had fallen on their houses.

“We had a couple of people trapped in some houses, but nothing life threatening,” Bradford said. “Trees fell on the houses and some people were trapped in their neighborhoods because trees fell across their entry and exits like … on Kaiser Lake Road, they were trapped in and a couple of other areas where people were trapped in because of trees across the roads with power lines in them.”

Other than that, Bradford said the biggest problem was from downed trees and limbs that caused power outages.

“Here in the county so many trees fell on different roads and it was at night with rain and our road crew was trying to cut trees,” Bradford said. “Some could not be cut because they had wires in them and we don’t know if they were hot or if they were dead wires. We are taught not to touch the wires. … Overall, we did a pretty good job on the response of it. Now we are in the recovery, trying to make sure we get all the damages assessed and submitted so that the county may be able to meet the threshold for public assistance and individual assistance.”

Bradford said EMC workers also are distributing tarps to several people who reported roof problems from the storm.

“Be patient,” Bradford said to people who are still without electric power. “The energy people are working trying to get their lights back on. We have the shelter open. If anybody needs it they can go over and get some air and electricity. Take advantage of it while we are up here. If they need food or something like that, we have meals over there, too, for people who have been affected by the storm.”

Across the Mississippi River, Concordia Parish and Vidalia came through the storm with minor power outages and little damage.

“Most every district (in Concordia Parish) did have some standing water but it was running off quickly,” said Timothy Vanier, director of Office of Emergency Preparedness for Concordia Parish. “No damage was reported to the OEP on any infrastructure or residential structure (related to the standing water). We had isolated power outages that were quickly restored. A tree or limb fell on a power line to an isolated residence, but no main transmission lines were down. We did have one report of residential damage. A tree fell on a house in Ferriday and did a little damage to the roof. No rescue, nothing in the storm, no injuries reported from the parish or sheriff’s department. The Parish did very well. We withstood the winds fairly well.”

Likewise, Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft said Vidalia had some isolated power outages that affected 30 to 40 power customers and all were quickly restored.

“We were really blessed,” Craft said. I think we had three outages. They were nothing really but powerlines down. … We were prepared for the worst and prayed for the best and we got the best.”

Craft commended Vidalia’s emergency repsonders.

“I was out most of the night Friday night when it was coming in, and I want to give a shout out to our police department, they were everywhere,” Craft said. “They were patrolling the streets. They were looking for affected powerlines. They were out all night in force for the safety of others and they as well as our fire department were ready to go. It was really a good thing to see a collaborative effort with everybody pulling together for the safety of our town. It was really good.”