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Damage from Ida minimal in Pearl River County, thousands without power

Hurricane Ida left a trail of downed trees and roof damage to some homes and businesses, but no major damage or fatalities have been reported in Pearl River County at press time.

By Monday morning, dozens of crews were preparing to restore power to thousands of Pearl River County residents. Pearl River County Emergency Management Director Danny Manley said that the storm caused 60 percent of the county’s residents to be without power and a large number of roads had downed trees and or power lines.

As of 9 a.m. on Monday, 14,506 Coast Electric customers in Pearl River County were without power. April Lollar, director of communications for Coast Electric, said that there are a total of 24,605 outages across the power company’s service area, which includes 85,000 total customers.

CEPA crews are currently working in Harrison and Hancock County, but 200 linemen and 200 right of way workers are mobilizing in Pearl River County to restore power. Lollar said that once the CEPA crews are done working in Harrison and Hancock, they will head to Pearl River County.

Within the city of Picayune, there are about 1,900 Mississippi Power Company customers without power. Jeff Shepard, spokesman for Mississippi Power Company, said there are currently 7,000 customers in the company’s service area without power, and the storm is still moving through some of that company’s grid. Mississippi Power Company has 1,000 additional resources coming to the area from Georgia, Alabama, Missouri and Kentucky to assist in the restoration effort.

So far, no deaths have been reported in the city of Picayune as a result of the storm, said Jams Bolton, Assistant Chief of Police for the Picayune Police Department. Some homes did sustain damage due to falling trees, and several power lines are down throughout the city.

Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison said two deaths did occur over the night in the county, but were not directly related to Hurricane Ida. Some vehicle collisions were reported as well, but none of those incidents resulted in major injury or death.

Manley said that with the flood waters rising, four swift water rescue teams are staged and ready to respond to calls for assistance.

Tony Smith, owner of Stonewalls BBQ, said the storm took the roof off part of the business, causing water intrusion. He said he will try to reopen the business as soon as possible.