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Snow in March?
On March 21-22, 1968 a snowstorm blew into North Mississippi with accumulations up to umpteen inches according to those who survived to exaggerate the story. Question is: Do you think we will experience snowfall with accumulation this March?

Johnson Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church on Highway 51 at Courtland was heavily damaged by a pine tree blown down during the early Friday storm. The falling tree also fell across utility lines, breaking the nearest pole.
No serious injuries were reported from the early morning front that blew through the region including all of Panola County Emergency Management Director Daniel Cole said.

Many cell phone users were awaken by warnings from the National Weather Service warning of possible tornado and storms racing through local zip codes.

Cole said downed trees in roads and on power lines caused most of the local problems but cited structure damage, at least two serious instances, after surveying damage most of Friday.

The Emergency Management Director said one home on Davis Chapel Road, south and west of Sardis, was badly damaged and Johnson Chapel Church on Old Highway 51 in Courtland was damaged when a tree fell through it.

Cole also said more a dozen tarpaulins were distributed to residents with damaged roofs.
Cole also said generators were provided to North Panola Schools so they could use the cafeterias and have hot water. He also noted that assistant EM Director Terry Bryant delivered generators to two residents who needed power for breathing machines.

Cole listed other areas of damage as Tocowa, Crenshaw, Harmontown, Coles Point, Sardis—" . . . trees were down everywhere," he emphasized.

County crews have recently been issued new radio and communication equipment and Cole noted that all agencies were dispatched or redirected as needed.

Panola County's sheriff department deputies were patrolled during and after the storm. Sheriff Dennis Darby said that he and extra deputies were on call if needed, but the on-duty patrols handled the situation.

Panola County's Road Department personnel went to work at 3:30 a.m. Friday morning as the vicious squall line on the leading edge of a cold front was moving through the region, downing trees and power lines alike.

Road Department Clerk Bobby Jones said Friday afternoon that the Sheriff's deputies  and citizens had, "about quit calling," concerning downed trees in the road almost 12 hours after the crews first arrived.

Some were still riding back roads late Friday afternoon looking for additional downed trees. Jones indicated that sheriff deputies would call for road department assistance when they came across debris in the roads. Panola citizens also called in with directions to debris or trees in the road.

Jones said that bridges and other structures were not affected by the early morning winds that accompanied the front, noting that power lines from Tallahatchie Valley or Entergy were sometimes entangled with debris in the roads.

"It wasn't like it was in an isolated area," Jones said adding, "We've been moving trees all over the county."
Jones noted that roads were clear for the most part at approximately 3:30 p.m.

George Cossar with Entergy based in Senatobia said earlier Friday that most of east Como's power was out.

A pole on south Main Street was broken and the rest of Como, all the way up to Tate County line, was re-energized around 10:30 a.m. including Como Elementary school.
The other major area of outages was east of Sardis where lights were out from the
substation east of town all the way to the State Park totaling 209 customers.
"Our men are also working on that problem," Cossar said later Friday adding there were no broken poles there—only wire down.

The Entergy representative said other scattered areas of outages exists but, "Everybody should be back on by tonight."

Cossar said five additional contract crews were assisting in the power restoration
Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association Assistant Manager Marlin Williams said that 49 employees were still in the field late Friday afternoon, continuing to work to restore power to 5,183 customers whose restoration had not yet been verified.

William said that the worst damage to the cooperative system came in Panola and Tate Counties. Lesser damage was found in Yalobusha and Tallahatchie Counties, he said.

At the height of the storm TVEPA had lost eight major circuit breakers/reclosers, the TVEPA assistant manager said. "Initial count for broken poles is 18, but may be slightly more," Williams added.

"Our guys have worked tirelessly and safely," he said.

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