Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lives spared, but homes were not, when storms slammed into Panola

By Billy Davis

Tornado-spawned storms that pummeled Panola County last week produced hail that ripped through rooftops, county supervisors were told Monday.

Daniel Cole, Panola County’s emergency management director, described the hail damage in a storm damage report at the county board meeting in Sardis.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

County road manager Lygunnah Bean also described ongoing road and bridge repairs at the same meeting.

Cole later told The Panolian the hail damaged the roof at Peach Creek Baptist Church and at Como Church of Christ.

Hail also slammed through the roof of sheriff’s deputy Carlton Hays, who lives on Ballentine Road, Cole said.

He told supervisors the worst damage spanned from Como west to Crenshaw, and north of Curtis Road. The Eureka community also showed damage, Cole said.

Bean and Cole have worked together to produce a list of storm damage throughout the county, with intentions that the list will be placed in the hands of MEMA and FEMA officials.

Clean-up costs from storm damage, including manpower, materials and fuel, are eligible for federal reimbursements to the road department.

Cole told supervisors that FEMA officials are also expected to come to Panola County to meet with storm victims and offer federal assistance.

“We are going to have to be patient and wait our turn,” Cole said, referring to areas of Mississippi that were harder hit than Panola County.

Supervisor Gary Thompson suggested the FEMA officials could use the Panola EMA office in Sardis, since it is close to the affected areas.

Sixteen homes were classified “destroyed” and another 15 had “major damage,” and 60 Panolians have been displaced due to storm damage, according to the list that was handed to supervisors.

Two commercial buildings, three public roads, and three public bridges were also destroyed.

Other statistics show 14 public roads showed major damage and 44 more received major damage.

Bean’s verbal report of storm damage also showed:

•Holston and Perkins roads are closed, and a Snider Road bridge is closed.

•The road department is investigating a bridge of Benson Road after complaints that the bridge was moving under the weight of moving water.

•Water is washing under a bridge on Old Panola Road, making it dangerous.