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High winds knock down power lines in Lafayette County

High winds during the early morning hours today knocked down several trees and power lines in Lafayette County causing a lengthy power outage for about 300 homes.

Areas affected, according to North East Mississippi Electric Power Association, were Clear Creek, Old Sardis Road, Highway 9 W, Yocona and other smaller areas.

Oxford Electric Department had a power outage from a downed power line at about 4 a.m. that affected 20 homes.

According to Lafayette County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Quarles, a large pine tree fell across a house’s roof on County Road 417 at about 3:30 this morning.

“No one was injured and it didn’t break into the living space,” Quarles said.

Five roads were blocked in the county due to fallen trees, he said.

“Road crews have the trees removed now,” Quarles said this morning.

More storms are expected this afternoon with the National Weather Service saying Lafayette County has an enhanced risk for severe weather.

“According to the models I’ve seen, the system looks like it will develop over us and then the more severe weather will be just east of us,” Quarles said. “But there’s still the potential for severe weather here.”

Supercell thunderstorms are forecast to develop by early afternoon. These storms will have the potential to produce large hail, damaging winds and even a few tornadoes.

The storms are the result of a cold front moving into the area.

The storm system already led to the traffic deaths of three storm chasers in West Texas and two children who touched a downed power line while playing in Fort Worth, Texas. A truck driver was killed when strong winds blew his rig off Interstate 40 in El Reno, Oklahoma.

The National Weather Service said a tornado with winds between 60 and 110 mph struck an apartment complex in southwestern Houston on Wednesday morning, damaging carports, windows and roofs. No injuries were reported following the tornado, rated as an EF-0 or an EF-1 on a six-level scale of tornado damage. Later Wednesday, damaging winds knocked a shipping container on a truck, injuring two near LaPorte, 20 miles east of Houston. The Port of Houston said it didn’t know if a twister was to blame.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.