WATER VALLEY – Strong storms hit Yalobusha County late Saturday night downing trees and power lines and causing some flooding.
The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings for the county setting off warning sirens. Two waves of storms went across the county starting a little after 9 p.m.
Civil Defense Director Cecil Harrison said that the National Weather Service reported definite rotation above Coffeeville during the second wave around 11 p.m. Harrison stayed in contact with the NWS via satellite phone.
County law enforcement and emergency responders radioed reports of trees down across several county roads as well as highways 32 and 51. District 1 Supervisor Tommy Vaughn and his crew worked through the early morning hours clearing trees from roads.
County Fire Coordinator Frank Hyde said he wasn’t sure if tornados touched down, but there was definite turbulence from the appearance of the damage.
Hyde added there was damage on CR 436 in the Velma area. He also said that in the area of Hwy. 32 and CR 232 there was a spot that looked like tornado damage.
“There were a lot of weak trees that went down all over the county. But, in certain parts the storm took down healthy trees,” said Hyde, who found his path blocked by the fallen trees as he attempted to make his way across the county.
Hyde coordinated groups of volunteers, some from the various county fire departments, who helped with clean up through the early morning hours.
District 5 Supervisor Bubba Tillman said damage was light in the Tillatoba and Scobey “I’ve never seen lightning like it did around 12:30 Saturday night.” Tillman rode out the storm in his county truck parked in his driveway, but reported many people utilized the storm shelters placed at the volunteer fire stations by the county.
Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association Operations Director Jamie Barnett said there was widespread damage to poles and power lines around Coffeeville and Water Valley. Some customers were without power until Sunday evening.
Joe Newman, manager of the Water Valley electric department, said there was no damage within the city limits. He and his crew assisted the TVEPA in restoring power in the hard hit areas.
Mayor Bill Norris said that the city is working on warning sirens to make sure they work properly. The siren just south of the depot had to be operated manually by the police when it couldn’t be set off remotely from the station on North Main Street.
At press time, the NWS had issued an advisory for Wednesday night and Thursday for a strong upper level disturbance that could trigger another bout of severe weather.