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Photo by Keith Taylor
A soybean field on Dogwood Road is flooded.

Storms cause lots of outages and flooding

A series of thunderstorms moving through the area in early June kept Holly Springs Utility Department workers busy getting power back on to approximately 700 customers, general manager Bill Stone said.

The second wave of storms were connected with tropical storm Christobal.

He said crews worked steadily, including some overnight shifts, to get customers back on. Friday night, June 5, outages, for example, kept crews working overnight and on into the mid-afternoon Saturday, June 6, he said.

"Our people were out working almost constantly during this time," he said.

A pole that went down held up restoration of power to a few customers in Benton County Tuesday, June 9, he said.

Flooding of roads

Marshall County Administrator Larry Hall said heavy bands of rainfall from Christobal caused short-term flooding of Farley Road, Dogwood Road, Barringer Road, and other roads and fields in the northwest corner of the county.

Wingo Road was flooded with an estimated six to eight inches of rain that fell in one to one and a half hours.

At Hall's home in Cornersville, he said he received 3.5 inches that flooded his driveway and garden.

Wind damage commenced Friday, June 5, and there were tree issues Sunday night, June 7, he said.

Other areas of flooding included Beale Road and Deer Creek Road.

"It receded in one to one and a half hours but it was really rough for that hour," Hall said. "It could have been worse."

He said county crews worked to get trees out of the road, as did utility workers who often responded to the same areas at the same time.

Northcentral Electric Cooperative

Michael Bellipanni, director of marketing and business development with Northcentral Electric Cooperative, said the company initially saw about 17 separate outage cases Friday, June 5, that affected about 800 members, mainly in Marshall County.

"We had reports of trees down across the lines on Holly Springs Road and Plantation Way," he said. "These were more difficult to restore, as our tree trimmers and county crews had to clear the way before lines could be hung."

Then Tuesday morning, June 9, the remnants of Tropical Storm Christobal rolled through North Mississippi.

"The outages reports started coming in just after midnight," Bellipanni said. "By 7 a.m., we were dealing with two circuit outages and about 11 other outage cases affecting about 600 members."

One of those cases involved a tree that had fallen on a line off Cayce Road. It was early afternoon before Northcentral cleared the lines and got everyone's power restored.

North East MS EPA

Tracie Russell, marketing and communication specialist with North East Mississippi Electric Power Association, reported several trees fell across the service territory due to heavy rains coupled with sustained winds. "Overall, the system held up extremely well, due to our Right-of-Way maintenance programs," she said. "The most affected area was the Yocona/Tula community, scheduled to begin (be cut) in the Right-of-Way this year. We appreciate our customers' patience and support through these events."

Other HSUD news

Some changes in the way HSUD collects payments in person may be in the offing, Stone said. A second drivethrough line is being considered to move traffic faster through the payment windows.

"Our biggest problem is capacity to take payments," he said. "Another drive-through would help those problems."

Another factor that may help kiosk users is that the kiosk speaks Spanish. So Spanish-speaking customers can pay their utility bill at the kiosk which accepts cash, checks and credit cards. The kiosk is located to the left on the outside wall in front of the entrance.

"We believe it is a step forward," Stone said about increasing capacity.

Also, there is now a buzzer installed at the front door entrance. A customer representative will ask who the person needs to speak with and then the door will be opened electronically.

These are some of the changes at HSUD that have been required to address the COVID-19 pandemic concerns, Stone said.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388
www.southreporter.com

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