Storms that came through the community late at night on Sunday, April 12 caused issues for a wide range of Coahoma County residents for close a week.
Clarksdale Public Utilities general manager Curtis Boschert reported 3,300 customers lost their power at the time of the storm. The majority of those customers had their power back the following Monday. All except 20 had their power restored by late Friday, April 17.
“We’ve been working on that steady since late last week,” Boschert said.
The customers who still do not have power had meter base issues at home.
“When there is a meter base problem, we tell them they have to get an electrician,” Boschert said. “There are several of those, but the accounts that can be cut back are back on.”
Boschert said once an electrician fixes the problem, CPU restores the power immediately to those customers.
Robert Burton at 133 Adams Ave. in Clarksdale was one customer who had his power out until Friday. He said it was the second time he experienced these issues in the 30 years of living at his residence.
“We had a storm that blew down the poles and wires,” Burton said. “It tore the electric wire that runs to my house down. It’s been off Sunday night.”
Burton and his son, Randy Riley, live at the residence. They were able to stay home, but they experienced a wide range of issues in addition to the power outage.
Burton said there was a water and gas leak under his house.
“We didn’t have any way of staying warm because my gas is off,” he said.
Burton said he was only able to charge his cellular phone by taking it out to his car.
CPU customers were not the only Coahoma County residents to experience problems from the storm.
All of Jonestown lost its power until Tuesday of last week and the storms caused damage that, for the most part, lasted until Thursday.
Entergy is Jonestown’s power company.
“We had one home that was a total loss,” said Jonestown Mayor Kenny Lester. “We had one home a tree fell and it damaged their home. We had about 10 homes with tree damage”
“With the help of a lot of young men and women in the community, we moved all the trees off people’s homes and properties if we could.”
Lester said volunteers from the community repaired several damaged homes free of charge. Most of the roof of one home was repaired.
He said there was also a boil water notice the Monday following the storms and volunteers gave out water to seniors and those less fortunate in the community.
“It was a storm, but most people were very calm,” Lester said. “Once we got water restored to the community, everything was calm.”
Lester said Coahoma County emergency management agency director Johnny Tarzi and Jonestown water operator Donnie Henson were both a big help when there was no power and water. He also said Coahoma County road supervisor Otis Griffin helped move trees from the road and Delta Oil Mill loaned equipment for the cleanup.
“With all the major damage we had, no one was injured,” Lester said. “We thank God for that.”
Lester thanked the citizens for their patience and understanding and everyone who helped out during the time of need.
Jonestown resident Dekira Rice expressed thanks to Lester for all he did on Facebook.
“Thank you God for this blessing,” Rice said. “It’s really true that not all hero’s wear capes. Our mayor didn’t have took the time off from everything that’s going on within our community, but the fact that he showed up unexpectedly not only shows the good in him but also shows that he really does care about our community and the people in it. Thank you, mayor, for all your help and concern about our big mama.”
While most Coahoma County residents have their power back, there is still work to be done.
Boschert said poles had to changed to restore power, but now circuits must be reconfigured to get things back to the way they were.
“We had to switch a lot of things to get power to people,” Boschert said.
“The main objective and the first objective was to get power back going for everybody.
“We just appreciate peoples’ patience. Our crews worked very hard. I’m proud of the way everybody responded and pitched in.”