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Storm snaps trees as it pushes through area

By Staff
STORM DAMAGE – Tommy Williams saws limbs from a tree that fell on the camper trailer owned by Kim Blanton in Chunky around 1 p.m. Sunday. A severe storm passed through East Central Mississippi, bringing high winds and heavy rains. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Aug. 26, 2002
Heavy rains and strong winds ripped through parts of east central Mississippi in a matter of minutes on Sunday, snapping trees and temporarily flooding some streets.
Kim Blanton and another worker were taking a lunch break from cleaning a pasture in Chunky around 12:45 p.m. when the storm hit, snapped a 100-year-old pecan tree and slammed it onto her travel trailer.
Blanton said the storm lasted only minutes but left her with a scratched up truck and a mangled trailer. Blanton was one of several people in east Mississippi who felt the brunt of Sunday's severe storm.
Officials at the National Weather Service in Jackson said the storm hit two miles southeast of Meridian and moved east through the area at 25 mph. Several trees were reported down around 1:12 p.m.
Other than the wind, officials said the storm also dropped .69 inches of rain on Meridian. The National Weather Service issued severe weather warnings across the state on Sunday.
But Blanton said she didn't hear the warnings and was caught by surprise when the storm struck.
She said a friend had just brought her and a worker a box of fried chicken for lunch. Seconds later, before they could even get their first bite, she said the wind snapped the tree they were sitting near.
Shortly after the storm hit, she said, several neighbors and members of the Newton County Emergency Management Agency helped her lift the tree off her trailer.
Today's forecast calls for a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon with a 20 percent chance of rain. Storms are not expected to be as widespread as Sunday.
A slightly dryer air mass will move through tonight, with another chance for thunderstorms Wednesday through the end of the week.