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Meridian, Lauderdale County prepare for drenching rain

By Staff
TIMBER – The area around Meridian High School was without power Wednesday afternoon when a tree on 23rd Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets fell on power lines. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Sept. 26, 2002
Although Isidore spared its targets the strength of hurricane winds when it hit the Louisiana coast today, the tropical storm is still a serious threat.
Locally, steady rain fell overnight. Scattered power outages and several downed trees were reported.
Meridian received nearly 6 inches of rain between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. today. More rain is on the way.
John Baxter, warning coordination officer in Meridian with the National Weather Service, said residents can expect thunderstorms this afternoon.
The wind is expected to increase throughout the day, although the area will not see as much as was anticipated Tuesday.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department worked six automobile accidents between 7 a.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. today. Maj. Ward Calhoun of the sheriff's department said no serious injuries were reported. He also said 15 trees were reported down in the county.
It was the rain, not wind, that is blamed for a power outage Wednesday when a large oak tree fell on power lines, knocking out electricity to Meridian High School and about 400 residents within the 2500 block of 23rd Avenue.
Pat Wylie, a Mississippi Power Co. spokesman, said the oak tree apparently fell because of ground saturation that weakened the tree's root system.
Clarence Butler, director of the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency, said no flooding occurred overnight and none of the local emergency shelters set up for evacuees from the Coast were used.
LEMA tornado spotters will be out today because tropical storms often spawn tornadoes. Typically, tornado watches are issued before the arrival of tropical storms and hurricanes.
A flash flood warning was issued for Lauderdale County shortly after 8 a.m. today.