By The Associated Press
JACKSON – At least one death and three injuries in Mississippi are being blamed on a severe storm system that dumped five to seven inches of rain in parts of the state and caused damages in 19 counties.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said a woman died and her husband was injured in a Yazoo County house fire that authorities believe was caused by lightning.
“They have to investigate it,” Flynn said. “The lady has an autopsy scheduled, but that is the initial belief, that the house was hit by lightening.”
The were two other injuries reported in Jasper County. Ten residents were rescued from homes during flooding in Clarke County.
MEMA said Wednesday in a news release that most of the damage to homes, buildings and roads was caused by wind and flooding.
National Weather Service officials in Jackson and New Orleans planned to send out survey crews late Wednesday to determine if any tornadoes touched down in Mississippi.
Flooding was the main concern.
“Flooding is going to persist in some areas for a few days as water filters down into the larger rivers and waterways,” said Daniel Lamb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson.
Ron Stewart with the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi said about 5,400 meters were without power because of the storm. He said most of those were south of U.S. Highway 98 in south Mississippi. He said power was expected to be restored by mid-afternoon Wednesday.
In Hancock County, officials reported damage in the Silver Creek Acres subdivision where skirting was ripped off mobile homes. There also was tree damage in the area.
In Harrison County, one trailer was destroyed and 30 others were damaged at a mobile home park off Cedar Lake in Biloxi. Police said there were no injuries.
Harrison County Fire Marshal Pat Sullivan said damage has been reported in several areas in the county. He said fire departments throughout the county responded to reports of lightning strikes to homes, but none caused fires, he said.
The Highway Patrol was urging motorists to watch for areas where roads were covered with water. Flooded roads were reported in southwest Mississippi and in east Mississippi’s Jasper and Newton counties.
According to law enforcement officials, streets were flooded in Lamar County, where Mississippi 13 was reportedly closed by the Highway Safety Patrol and the state Department of Transportation.
Rain swollen creeks and ditches were reported in Brookhaven and Monticello areas.
Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said a wrecker was needed to pull a stranded motorist from a street that had flooded. Henderson said many streets in the city typically flood during heavy rains.
Hinds County officials said high winds caused some damage in the Utica and Terry areas but there were no injuries reported.
Nearly 5 inches of rain fell overnight, Forrest County Emergency Management Agency Director Terry Steed said Wednesday, but so far only minor street flooding has been spotted.