TUPELO — Thousands of people in Mississippi and Tennessee were still waiting late Monday for power to be restored as cleanup continued from winds associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Olga.
High winds swept across a broad area Saturday, the National Weather Service reports. Some school districts cancelled classes Monday for lack of power, and some of those said they would also cancel classes on Thursday
Winds up to 70 mph (110 kph) were reported along the storm’s track from Louisiana to Indiana.
A highway worker cleaning up debris in central Mississippi was killed Saturday.
Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener said another person died in McNairy County, Tennessee, just north of the Mississippi state line. WBBJ-TV reports that man, Ray Wood, died when a tree fell on him as he went outside to retrieve a pet. In nearby Adamsville, roofs and facades from downtown stores were stripped from buildings by the storm. Shiloh National Military Park closed because of debris on the roads, but officials said Monday that they hoped to reopen by noon Tuesday.
In Tupelo, Mississippi, county officials on Monday declared a state of emergency so they could buy equipment and contract for debris removal more quickly. Mississippi’s Alcorn County opened an arena to serve hot meals and offer shelter, even as the local power cooperative asked the more than 5,000 customers who still lacked power at midday Monday to be patient.
In Clarksville, Tennessee, winds damaged the airport, a drag strip and a nursing home, along with several houses and mobile homes. Clarksville Regional Airport employee Josh Vaughn said one of the airport’s older hangars located off the main runway has nearly collapsed, destroying all but one airplane inside.
“So much of it’s collapsed … you can’t even see inside,” Vaughn told the Leaf Chronicle of Clarksville. “It’s still a hazard.”
The main terminal and some other planes were also damaged. The airport resumed full operations by Monday.
The Clarksville Speedway may have hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to areas including the bleachers, fences, electrical system, lighting and buildings near the drag strip.
“We did have people come out (Sunday) to help,” the speedway’s Laura Scogin said. “We were overwhelmed with people who wanted to help.”
Clarksville Department of Electricity officials reported 6,200 customers of the city utility still lacked power Monday evening.
The National Weather Service confirms two tornadoes touched down in in southwest Alabama on Friday night, produced by a single thunderstorm associated with Olga.
A survey shows a twister with top winds of 100 mph (160 kph) struck southwest of Mobile Regional Airport just after 4 p.m., causing tree and roof damage. The tornado traveled for 1.3 miles (2.1 kilometers), lifting off 2 minutes later. A second tornado, which injured one person, touched down minutes later near Semmes. With top winds of 105 mph (170 kph), it damaged trees and mobile homes, traveling 3.3 miles (5.4 kilometers).