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Strong Storms Cause Minor Problems In County

Lighting struck in the area of Panola and Leland streets causing a brief outage. Brandon Richardson and Rick Ragon (top photo), linemen with the Water Valley Electric Department, replace a lighting arrestor on Panola Street. The heavy rain caused some street flooding. Gary Pinkerton and Robert Turner (bottom photo) of the Street Department work to clear a storm drain on Young Street.

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – Strong storms moved through Mississippi last Friday dumping more than two inches of rain in many areas of the north and spawning tornadoes in the central part of the state.

Governor Haley Barbour declared a State of Emergency on Friday for 33 Mississippi counties – including Yalobusha – in anticipation of flooding of the Mississippi River, Yazoo River, and tributaries.

The official rainfall total for Yalobusha County was 1.58 inches recorded from Thursday through Saturday.

Steve Cummings, County Extension Director, said farmers were not sure how much effect the rains would have on corn planting, which is underway in the county. “It has been too wet to get out in the fields to see, he said.”

In Water Valley, some minor street flooding was reported because of a combination of the heavy rain and debris that washed into storm drains.

Street Department Manager Mike Scroggins said that leaves, grass clippings and sticks piled in the streets for pick up stopped up the drains. “It would help if citizens would put yard debris on the curb and not in the street.”

More than 50,000 central Mississippi electric customers were  without power on Saturday, most in the Jackson area. Service to almost all areas was restored by Sunday evening.

Water Valley Electric Department Manager Joe Newman said that only a small area of the city was affected a brief power outage Friday afternoon. Lighting knocked out a transformer on Leland Street and a lighting arrestor on Panola Street.

Fog that blanketed the area late Saturday night and early Sunday morning was a contributing cause to a vehicle crash. Water Valley Police Chief Mike King reported that Becky Rucker was injured when a car driven by Rufus Folson failed to stop at the intersection of South Main Street and Frostland Drive.

The vehicle was headed eastbound on Frostland at 1:53 a.m. Sunday, crossed South Main and struck a fence and highway directional sign. Folson told police on the scene that he was traveling no more than 30 miles an hour because of the fog and didn’t see the stop sign.

The National Weather Service predicts that a potent storm system will move into the area Thursday afternoon through Friday morning with a threat for severe weather. Additional heavy rain associated with the system may cause flooding, according to forecasters.

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