Thursday, May 1, 2014
Marshall safe, state hit hard by storms
By SUE WATSON
There was some flooding in the northern portion of Marshall County where the Nonconnah feeds into tributaries in DeSoto and Shelby counties, but no other significant weather-related problems occurred from Sunday and Monday storms.
County administrator Larry Hall said there was some high water but nothing significant in the subdivision near Nonconnah Creek.
The drainage issues have been there for many years since people quit farming in that area. Prior to the development of lands for housing and businesses in the area, the U.S. Corps of Engineers would keep these tributaries dredged out to keep water from backing up and standing on fields in that flat-land area, he said.
“We’ve done as much as we can possibly do,” Hall said. “There is nowhere for the water to go.”
The only good solution to the problem is dredging, and that work has to be done in DeSoto and Shelby counties, he said.
There were no calls to 911 for assistance anywhere in the county road areas, Hall said. Occasionally, a county worker would find a road pipe clogged with leaves and brush and clean it out, but there were essentially no problems as of late Monday afternoon, Hall said.
Michael Bellipanni, with Northcentral Electric Power Association, said there were no serious outages in the service area from Sunday and Monday’s storms.
“Sunday, our outages were isolated and scattered, mainly due to lightning,” he said. “We had about 150 out at one point this morning (Monday), but got those restored fairly quickly.”
Holly Springs Utility Department experienced no significant outages over the system, but the West Street substation in the city was struck by lightning and crews worked to dog-leg around the damaged equipment, according to general manager Don Hollingsworth. Two construction crews were set to leave for the Tupelo area Tuesday morning to help with recovery there, he said.
No significant weather-related calls were reported from the Holly Springs Fire Department.
Fire chief Kenny Holbrook, who travelled to Jackson Monday, said he drove through two tornadoes, one in Grenada and the other in Canton.
“I couldn’t find the road in Grenada, it was raining so hard,” he said. Tornado sirens and code red warnings were all over the radio. The hail nearly beat the windows out.”
Storm damages reported to the Mississippi Emergency Management Authority included the following:
• flood-related road closures in Desoto County.
• roads blocked by downed trees, several homes destroyed and minor injuries in Itawamba County.
• major damage in Tupelo, including extensive home and business damage.
• home damages and a few injuries in Madison County.
• trees down and homes damaged in Montgomery County.
• trees and power lines down in Marks (Quitman County).
• homes damaged and road closings in Warren County.
• major damage near Louisville in Winston County.
Bellipanni, in an e-mail Tuesday, said Northcentral sent eight lineman to help Tombigbee Electric Power Association in its restoration efforts in Lee and Itawamba counties.
“They hit the road this morning (Tuesday) with two bucket trucks and a line truck,” he said.
Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency in Mississippi, paving the way for federal assistance to be requested from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
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