- Associated Press - Thursday, March 17, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on severe weather in Mississippi (all times local):

7 p.m.

Heavy thunderstorms brought abundant hail Thursday to parts of southern Mississippi.

The National Weather Service counted 44 hail reports in 15 counties, with baseball-sized hail reported near Purvis and golf ball-sized hail reported in Lincoln and Lawrence counties.

David Cox, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pearl, says the hail stemmed from a stalled frontal boundary which left the atmosphere unstable. He says more storms, although maybe not as severe, could occur Friday in southern Mississippi.

Winds damaged some roofs, including blowing the roof off a Miles Lumber Co. building in Silver Creek. There were also isolated reports of trees falling on houses.

Nearly 14,000 customers statewide were without electricity Thursday evening, including 6,000 Entergy Corp. customers in and around Vicksburg and 2,000 in and around Natchez.

6: 30 p.m.

Officials are saying a funnel cloud spotted in Harrison County appears to have caused only tree damage and may not have touched down.

Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said the storm, spotted around 5 p.m. Thursday near Saucier (SOE’-sher), had threatening clouds and rotation. But he says only one damage report has been made so far.

Lacy says the storm may have hit wooded areas in the DeSoto National Forest.

Andrew Ansorge, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Slidell, Louisiana, says a survey team will have to determine whether a tornado actually took place.

The Weather Service later issued a tornado warning for Pearl River County, but Ansorge says no damage has been reported.

The thunderstorm stemmed from a cold front moving south across Mississippi.


6 a.m.

As the floodwaters recede throughout the Hattiesburg area, officials are getting a better picture of the damage incurred.

In Forrest County, 158 houses suffered some type of damage. Of those, three were destroyed, 47 had major damage, 52 had minor damage and 56 were classified as affected.

Lamar County saw eight homes affected by the flooding, in addition to two commercial properties.

James Smith, director of the Lamar County Emergency Management Agency tells the Hattiesburg American (https://hatne.ws/1XxjmIE) officials are still waiting to receive numbers regarding damaged roads.

The Mississippi Management Emergency Agency reported Wednesday initial damage shows almost 1,600 damaged homes statewide, including more than 600 homes with major damage. There was one injury reported in Jones County and two fishermen are still missing from Claiborne County.


Information from: The Hattiesburg American, https://www.hattiesburgamerican.com

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