Storm leaves nasty mark in Pascagoula

Storm leaves nasty mark in Pascagoula

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The violent storm that passed through South Mississippi Thursday night left a nasty mark in Pascagoula when county government buildings were hit by lightning, and winds lashed a nearby business.

The Jackson County Emergency Management building took a direct lightning strike when surge went through a network switch, knocking out all the phones and computers at the complex.

However, tech crews were on the spot and most services - particularly with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department - were up and running by 10 a.m. Friday.

"Very proud of my guys," said Jackson County Information Service Director Paul Tristani. "They were out here at one o'clock this morning doing this, so we had to figure out which switch went out and what all PCs were down and all the phones, but we got it up at a very quick time."

Emergency Services director Earl Etheridge says a few small problems remain, but public safety was never an issue.

"We've had lightning strikes before and it's been isolated to one or two computers, some electronics. First time to my knowledge that the switch has been fried like that," said Etheridge.

Etheridge says a county radio tower was hit by lightning in Fountainebleau, but systems were brought back up soon after they went down.

In the meantime, the storm destroyed the roof to a food mart on Nathan Hale Avenue near I.G. Levy Park. According to a store employee, about a quarter of the stock was damaged.

"And when I came in the morning time, I was shocked by looking at the roof everything," said Suraj Sah. "It was all gone on the other side."

Kenneth Kinchen lives in a nearby apartment complex.

"It was a lot of loud noises out there, lot of branches were broken," Kinchen said. "And it's completely flooded throughout our whole parking lot. ... It woke me up. It bothered me a little bit. It wasn't really scary or nothing. It messed with my sleep a little bit."

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