Strong weather hits Mississippi
STREET FLOODING Heavy rains on Thursday led to flooded intersections in Meridian, like this one at the corner of 22nd Street and Poplar Springs Drive. Doug Cramer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said that 1.79 inches of rain fell in Meridian on Thursday. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
From staff and wire reports
Jan. 25, 2002
Severe storms dumped almost 2 inches of rain on Meridian on Thursday, flooding streets and slowing traffic as a strong cold front moved across the state.
National Weather Service forecasters said the system sent 60 mph wind gusts through the Meridian area. They said metropolitan Jackson had 70 mph gusts.
Cramer said Meridian recorded 1.79 inches of rain, most of it in the afternoon and early evening as a line of strong storms moved through the area.
The weather was so intense on Thursday that high water in North Mississippi kept students out of school. Flood, thunderstorm and tornado warnings were issued across the state.
Flooding was reported throughout North Mississippi. Areas in the northeast have received up to 10 inches of rain since midday Tuesday, National Weather Service hydrologist Buzz Merchlewitz said.
Eleven rivers, particularly around the Upper Yazoo River basin, were in flood stage.
The line of thunderstorms that moved through Mississippi on Thursday afternoon produced high winds, hail and tornado warnings in Simpson, Neshoba and Newton counties.
In Jackson, the gold-leaf eagle ornament that sits at the top of the state Capitol dome was turned approximately 30 degrees southwest by the strong gusts of wind.
The eagle is 8 feet high and 15 feet wide. It is held in place by cables.
The National Weather Service said that radar indicated a tornado five miles north of Conehatta in Newton County. The Newton County Sheriff's Department said Thursday night they were unaware of any tornadoes.
Hail was reported by the National Weather Service in Neshoba and Newton counties.
Cramer said residents in East Central Mississippi can expect the weather to calm a bit today. Colder temperatures will return, he said, after a couple of days of unseasonably warm weather.
Highs today in Lauderdale County and Meridian should be in the mid-50s and the lows tonight should fall into the 30s.