Heavy rains, winds wreak havoc on area
WEATHER WOES – Roger Leggett, top, and Johnny Cook, both with Mississippi Power Co., repair power lines on 22nd Avenue Heights after a tree fell today. High winds and heavy rains caused problems in Meridian and Lauderdale County and rain is expected to continue today and tonight. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By William F. West / community editor
Oct. 28, 2002
Heavy rains and high winds flooded area streets, knocked down a tree on 22nd Avenue Heights and left hundreds of people temporarily without power today.
Greer Goldman, a Meridian street superintendent, said that, to his knowledge, no water had gotten into peoples' houses.
The heaviest rains fell in Meridian and Lauderdale County between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. part of a disturbed weather system over Louisiana and Mississippi.
Dan Byrd, a meteorological technician with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said Meridian's Key Field reported 3.89 inches of rain between 6 a.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. today.
Goldman said crews with both the city and Mississippi Power Co. responded to the fallen tree on 22nd Avenue Heights.
Mississippi Power Co. spokesman Kurt Brautigam said the tree took down power lines and left about 150 customers without power.
Brautigam estimated a total of about 200 customers were without power in the Meridian area today because of problems with breakers or transformers.
Mississippi Power Co. has about 22,000 customers in the Meridian area.
The East Mississippi Electric Power Association reported 964 homes lost power in an area from King Road to the Lauderdale County-Kemper County line and from Hillview Drive to Naval Air Station Meridian.
Mike Reich, EMEPA spokesman, said all Lauderdale County customers were restored by 7:25 a.m. He said the EMEPA was still checking Clarke County for possible outages.
Goldman and his crew also responded to reports of erosion and flooding problems on Virginia Drive near 22nd Avenue Heights.
Goldman said crews found some mud washed away from a private, dirt driveway. He said water from a nearby creek also flowed over the top of a bridge on Virginia Drive near the railroad tracks.
Goldman said temporary street flooding also occurred on Eighth Street, between 28th and 29th avenues; at the 26th Avenue underpass downtown; and at 37th Avenue and Fifth Street.
He said water has receded from those thoroughfares.
Byrd said most of the rain came after midnight Sunday part of the same weather pattern that kept the weekend wet. Byrd said more rain is possible today and tonight.
Staff writer Fredie Carmichael contributed to this report.