Pearl Storm Damage - - Jackson, MS

Pearl Storm Damage

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By Brandon Artiles - email | bio

PEARL, Miss. (WLBT) - It is not a happy new year's for many throughout central Mississippi Saturday.  That is certainly the case in Pearl, where people spent day one of 2011 recovering from the New Year's Eve storm.

Thousands of residents started the day without power.  Pearl Mayor Brad Rogers said that Entergy hopes to have electricity back to a majority of the 3,100 affected homes by the end of the day.

"Obviously, some of the homes are too damaged to have power," Rogers said. "We've got some problems that we're going to be working with.  Not going to be all taken care of today."

Rogers is working with MEMA to coordinate recovery efforts at a makeshift command center in the parking lot of Rankin Square on Highway 80.

"We have declared this a state of emergency, so we can do things that normally we couldn't as-far-as helping people with the debris removal," Rogers said.

Neighbors worked side-by-side with city crews cleaning-up the mess left behind. Trees of all sizes proved no match for the winds as trees on rooftops were a common sight.

One home behind Trustmark Park was destroyed due to a downed tree.  Property manager Steve Mounger, said the people inside were fortunately not hurt.

That was the case for the entire city of Pearl. Mayor Rogers said they have not heard of any fatalities or significant injuries as a result of Friday night's storm.

Damage was not just relegated to residential areas, as several businesses suffered extensive damage. Tinseltown movie theater had a part of its roof cave-in.  Only one theater was affected and the theater's general manager said they are open for business.

While MEMA is trying to confirm whether the damage was caused by a tornado or extreme winds, they are also working to determine how many people need assistance.

In addition to government efforts, private, non-profits American Red Cross and Salvation Army are on site prepared to help Pearl residents however they can.

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