Spring storm rolls through Bolivar
by Paisley Boston and Courtney Warren
Apr 04, 2014 | 3413 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A crane lifts the Holiday Inn Express sign from a vehicle.
A crane lifts the Holiday Inn Express sign from a vehicle.
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The damage from last night's storm left many without power and several tree limbs down.

According to Cleveland Police Chief Buster Bingham, a large tree limb fell on top of a home on 600 Lee St., the sign at Holiday Inn Express fell on several cars, the Cannon Ford sign fell on a few cars, and the awning at Delta Fast Foods came off.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Officer Tony Dunn said, "We had a couple of accidents from cars running off the road due to the water."

Cleveland Fire Inspector Gene Bishop said they answered several calls but many were alarms that went off due to power outages.

EMA Director Bill Quinton said, "We're doing some damage assessment now. Had some straight-line winds that did some damage. It pulled off the roof partition over the walkway at the animal shelter. We're out riding and looking to check for the damage."

Delta Electric Power Association District Manager Les Dixon said there were a large number of power outages in Shaw, Cleveland and Drew.

"They were really scattered. We received calls about the outages around 2:45 a.m. and we responded to them as soon as we received the calls because we were prepared."

"We had everyone back on around 7:30 a.m. We also had several power lines and trees down. We had the most lines down around Cleveland and Drew. As far as we know, everyone is back on," he added.

Customer Service Manager for Entergy in Cleveland Cheryl Comans said the storm did cause many residents to be without power.

"At the height of the storm, we had several outages between Bolivar County and North Sunflower County. There were about 450 outages scattered," said Comans.

"The most concentrated outages was in the Skene community and this was because lightening hit a pole and busted the pole in the cross arms," she added.

"We had a circuit to lock out on Sharpe Avenue but they should all be back on. We have about 40 customers who are still without power in Bolivar County. They are scattered and they all should be on about 6 p.m.," continued Comans.

National Weather Service in Jackson Meteorologist Allan Campbell said according to the radar, Bolivar County experienced a great deal of wind and storm damage.

"We are not exactly sure whether or not a tornado actually hit. We have to send a survey team up to determine this. To determine whether or not a tornado has hit or touched down in a particular location we go out and observe the damage," said Campbell.

Campbell said in order to determine whether or not a tornado occurred, a team of tornado surveyors observes several elements.

"We look to see whether or not things were pushed down in one direction. Because of the wind and the rotating weather you may have evidence of how the tornado moved through a location," he said.

"You may see the debris thrown in one direction at one location and then in that same location, you may see where debris was thrown in the opposite direction," he added.

"Right now, based on the damage report from Cleveland and throughout Bolivar County we do not plan to send a survey crew. Bolivar County basically experienced thunderstorm and wind gust damage," he continued.

Although it has not been determined whether or not a tornado actually occurred, there were some damaging winds.

"We measure the wind speed with equipment that we have at various locations. In Greenville, the wind speed got up 59 miles per hour and in Cleveland there were wind gusts of 53 miles per hour," said Campbell.

"As far as any damage reports in Cleveland, there were a few road signs around U.S. Highway 61 and that was in the city of Cleveland," he added.

Campbell said the rest of the day looks pretty well but Cleveland can expect to see more rain on Sunday.

"Everything is currently in the process of moving away from Bolivar County. The front is in the process of moving across the Delta," he said.

"Winds are going to turn out of the North and it may become breezy as the day progresses. We are not expecting any more rain in Bolivar County until Sunday," added Campbell.