Broken tree limbs, downed power lines, icy roads and wrecked fences dotted the landscape of Panola County 10 years ago.
On Feb. 9, 1994, Panola County and the surrounding area was hit by what was called the most catastrophic event Mississippi has seen in over 40 years – the ice storm.
According to Frank Burcham of Entergy, there was not a light bulb burning anywhere in the Mississippi Delta from Highway 82 to Memphis.
Most in the area were without electricity and/or water for the better part of a month as power crews worked diligently to repair the damage caused by the ice storm.
For Panola County Civil Defense Director William "Son" Hudson, the ice storm marked his first major test in the position.
"I had just started the job when we got hit with the ice storm in ?94," he said.
Hudson said he remembers the storm hitting shortly after church on that Wednesday night.
"When that storm hit, it hit us hard," he said.
Hudson, who spent eight nights sleeping in his office, said he remembers the snapping of tree limbs and power lines around him in the darkness.
"Most of the time at night you can look out the office window and see the McDonald’s sign," he said. "There for a few days, it was nothing but black.
"Every once in a while you would hear a tractor from the City of Batesville come down the road or see headlights of someone trying to get somewhere, but everything was mostly at a stand-still," Hudson said.
"The power was out for 30 days in some areas," he said. "It would have been longer if not for the Entergy and TVEPA employees who worked around the clock to restore electricity.
"When those power crews got into town, the people in the community really pitched in to make their jobs a little easier," he said.
Hudson said several churches prepared three meals a day to feed the workers.
"It was nice to see the show of support from the community during this disaster," he said.
Hudson said during the power outage, the county had 60 generators in use along with water tanks.
"People could go to the National Guard Armory and fill up a couple of gallon jugs for drinking water," he said.
"I think most of the City of Batesville was without power for about four days," he said. "I remember the old hospital got power back first because it was a priority."
Hudson said Panola County was declared a federal and state disaster area as result of the damage sustained during the ice storm.
"I don’t think there was any doubt that this area was hit very hard," he said. "We had damage on almost every road in Panola County."
Batesville resident Margaret Haltom called the ice storm, "an interesting situation.
"My father worked for Tallahatchie Valley for years," she said. "So I was always aware of what could happen in we got hit by freezing rain."
Haltom said she and some friends were working on a historical book about cemeteries when the ice storm started.
"When we got finished for the night and went outside, there was ice accumulating on the cars," she said.
"Bob [Margaret’s husband] and I had two cars parked under a tree, but we went out a moved them," she said. "We had a feeling this was going to be a bad situation."
Haltom said by the early afternoon, it sounded like "World War II."
"I think that is what shocked most of the people at that time was the sounds," she said. "All of the popping and snapping going on was something nobody was prepared for."
During the days after the storm hit, Haltom said her family was able to make it through the experience better than most.
"Because Bob and I were campers, we were more prepared than most," she said. "We had the Coleman stove and lantern, and we had a little heat because of gas burners. So we did OK."
Haltom said she considers her family one of the lucky ones. They were only without power for about one week.
"I will never forget it," she said. "We were cooking a pancake breakfast on the Coleman stove when the electricity came back on."