Severe storms spread damage across north Mississippi - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Severe storms spread damage across north Mississippi

Action News 5 Team Coverage

BATESVILLE, MS (WMC-TV) - Severe weather toppled trees and damaged several homes early Wednesday as a line of powerful thunderstorms swept across North Mississippi.

Homes and businesses in 18 counties were damaged by strong winds, heavy rains and flash flood warnings. With wires down everywhere, crews worked all day to restore power.

"We had a lot of wind that came through," said Panola County Sheriff Hugh Shotbright. "To my knowledge, there was no tornadoes or anything like that. I've heard 70 mile an hour winds. Don't really know, but I know it blowed over some big trees on houses."

Homes along Church Street in Batesville were some of the hardest hit. Some residents were still without power Wednesday night, but the sheriff's department said no one was injured.

"We've had no injuries and no reports of any kind of fatalities weather related," Cole said. "The time of day and the amount of notice that we had for this storm - it's a miracle."

Panola County EMA Director Daniel Cole says the area has not suffered such damage extensive since the ice storm of 1994.

"During the ice storm, everybody was affected with no electricity," Cole said. "Here we've got major damage and destroyed homes from trees falling and debris."

Early estimates show 14 homes, two churches and one school building were seriously damaged in Batesville.

Resident Bessie McCloud was startled awake by a tree crashing through an empty bedroom in her house.

"I just know I came straight up out of the bed," she said.

McCloud said soggy roots gave way in a rock garden she built to honor her daughter, Danica, after she died seven years ago.

Cindy Stevens and her two young daughters were trapped when a massive tree crushed their house.

"I heard this loud crash, this loud pop crash, you hear glass breaking everywhere," she said. "

Stevens is grateful she and her children managed to make it out safely, but she says her home is a complete loss.

"Over 100 years old. We've only lived there a month and a half," she said. "I bought dream house. I've  been wanting it for six years. You've been in a month and a half. I unpacked the last box over the weekend."


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