Storm Rips Through Pearl River County

Brenda Slade sat in her closet as a storm ripped through her Derby community. "It was just awful," she said. "I could hear trees falling. It sounded like explosions."

When Slade finally came out of her closet to see what the morning storm left behind, the Pearl River County woman saw trees toppled over against her porch. But the porch had very little damage. "I'm blessed," she said. "There is no such thing as luck. Blessed."

Across the railroad tracks, family members and volunteers helped Fornea Spiers remove storm debris from his yard and from his damaged roof. Spiers was on his way home, when he drove right into the windy weather. "A few little dents is about all it done,"  Spiers said. "But it still scared me. I was scared to death."

A bent beam showed you the power of this storm. It was from the Pearl River County Central Maintenance Facility's equipment shed. So you know, the shed is on the other side of a chain link fence. Which means the storm lifted the beam and tossed it about 100 yards.

"It didn't last but five seconds," road manager Mike Mitchell said, "and it done its damage by then."

The toppled shed wasn't the only maintenance department casualty. High winds tossed canisters and tin roofing around the property. Two large doors blew off their hinges. And car windows broke into small glass pieces. They had to be covered with plastic to prevent interior flooding.

"It was chaos there for a few seconds, I can tell you," Mitchell said. "We're just thankful nobody was hurt. We didn't have anybody as far as we know who got hurt."

Several sections of Pearl River County lost power when the storm blew through that part of South Mississippi.