Severe storms that blew through the Golden Triangle Thursday evening seem to have caused minimal damage.
The area was under a tornado watch Thursday afternoon and evening, and thunderstorms arrived to the area at about 4 p.m., bringing heavy rains and strong winds.
Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency Director Cindy Lawrence said the damage in Lowndes County was primarily limited to downed trees.
“It was really scattered throughout the county,” she said, adding there wasn’t one particular area hit harder than others.
Lawrence said she received reports that three or four trees had fallen on houses. She didn’t receive many reports of severe flooding, she added.
In Oktibbeha County, Emergency Management Agency Director Kristen Campanella said there were limited reports of damage after Thursday’s storms in Oktibbeha County, other than downed trees through the area.
She said a gas station at the intersection of Highway 182 and Old West Point Road in Starkville had damage to its awning, and a home on South Washington Street reported flooding seeping inside.
Roads in Starkville and in the county flooded due to the heavy rains, but those had mostly receded by this morning, she said.
Reports that the storm could contain tornadoes had school districts sending students home early, with schools in Columbus Municipal, Lowndes County and Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated school districts all dismissing students between noon and 2 p.m. Offices at Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi State University and East Mississippi Community College Mayhew campus were all closed by 1 p.m.
No injuries were reported in Lowndes or Oktibbeha counties during the storm.
Jon Turner, 4-County Electric Power Association’s director of marketing and communication, said the cooperative had about 6,000 customers, primarily in Lowndes and Noxubee counties, lose power during Thursday’s storms.
He said that was reduced to about 4,000 customers by this morning, and 4-County is making steady progress to get power fully restored. However, he said many of the outages are scattered, which is slowing things down.
“When there are a lot of people out on a circuit, that’s almost easier because you fix it and they’re all back on,” he said. “With this, there are so many that are just scattered that it takes a lot of time to get everyone back up. You fix it and get five people on, then fix another five people and keep going. It’s slow going.”
Todd Gale, general manager of Columbus Light and Water, said approximately 500 customers lost power during the storm, which caused downed trees, power lines and poles throughout the city. Like Lawrence, he said the outages were scattered throughout the city.
CLW crews had restored power to about 250 homes by about 2 a.m., Gale said. He added there are still some customers without power this morning.
Starkville Utilities Director Terry Kemp said the city had one significant outage as storms passed through the area on Thursday afternoon.
Kemp said a tree fell on a major circuit on Yellow Jacket Drive and hit a line that knocked out power for about 1,000 customers. Starkville Utilities got the damage reduced to about 200 people after isolating the circuit and Kemp said power was fully restored by about 7:30 p.m.
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