Stormy Monday: Weather swamps many holiday plans

By The Associated Press


TUPELO – A steady downpour of rain at Ballard Park didn’t put a damper on Nathan Hooper’s plans for Labor Day.
Though he hadn’t had luck catching any fish early Monday afternoon, the account manager for a local rent-to-own business said he wasn’t going to let his only day off go to waste.
“I fish whenever I can and I’m aiming for bass today,” he said, “but any old fish will do.”
Unlike Hooper, some people who were in Tupelo on Monday changed their plans for the holiday after a second day of steady rain was forecast.
By 1 p.m. Monday the National Weather Service in Memphis had measured rainfall at Tupelo Regional Airport at 5.64 inches, according to meteorologist Danny Gant.
The weather system that resulted from Tropical Storm Lee was moving through Northeast Mississippi more quickly than originally forecast, but Tupelo might have an additional accumulation of 2 inches by 7 p.m., Gant said
The packed parking lot at The Mall at Barnes Crossing was one indicator of where many people decide to go once they ventured out into the weather.
Thirteen-year-old Madeline Smith and Brantley Cagle, 7, both of Haleyville, Ala., were on an outing with several other family members to see “The Smurfs” movie.
“We were going to go to the beach, but the weather changed our plans,” Madeline said as the group gathered to purchase tickets and refreshments.
The mall food court was teeming with people, and most tables were occupied.
Howard Whittington, 86, of Potts Camp, found an out-of-the way bench in a little alcove from which to do his people-watching.
The retired farmer said his wife, daughter-in-law and granddaughter were making the rounds of the mall stores.
“We just get out of the house and come to town and shop a while,” Whittington said. “I sit and watch people while my women shop. Today there’s a whole bunch of people out here.”
The people in the movie theaters and mall found a dry place to spend their day, but a determined Hooper chose to face the elements.
When he returns to work today, his usual day off, Hooper said he expects his fishing expedition to have been productive.
“I’m going to catch something, even if it’s just a cold,” he said.
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com