Straight-line winds raked a swath across the area, taking down trees

ORWOOD – Wind toppled countless trees in southern Lafayette County early Wednesday morning, damaging several homes and interrupting electric service to thousands of others.
Trees blocked the way for many emergency responders at first.
“Road manager Jerry Haynie’s crews were out before daylight,” said Board of Supervisors President Lloyd Oliphant. “They’ve done a tremendous job in responding to the situation.”
Lafayette County Emergency Management Coordinator Jerry Johnson said by early afternoon all the roads had been cleared.
About 10 houses suffered “minor to moderate” damage, he said, noting one house’s roof was punctured by a falling tree, and a car was crushed at the same residence.
“I think we got off real lucky,” Johnson said. “It’s really surprising as much damage as we saw to trees that property damage wasn’t much worse.”
While a 4:18 a.m. tornado warning for Lafayette County was sandwiched between two severe thunderstorm warnings, the damage was apparently caused by straight-line winds. The worst happened in the rural Orwood area, where downed fences and wandering livestock further complicated passage.
A spokesman for the North East Mississippi Electric Power Association said more than 2,000 people lost power, with the majority restored by noon.
Most of Northeast Mississippi didn’t get the damage that Lafayette County did. According to the National Weather Service in Memphis, trees and flooding took place throughout the region, but no structural damage was reported.
In Tupelo, some roads were reported as being flooded, but were clear for travel by Wednesday morning.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or


Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

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