Heavy rain, high winds toppled trees, knock out power

Published 3:26 pm Friday, April 12, 2024

Oxford and Lafayette County saw 4 to 6 inches of rain this week, combined with high wind gusts that toppled several trees around the area and knocked out power for thousands.

Most of the trees fell on Wednesday when the rainfall was the heaviest over the three-day stormy period.

“Multiple trees fell in the city over the past 48 hours, causing road closures and power outages,” said Oxford Emergency Management Director Shane Fortner. “Some houses were damaged.”

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Lafayette County only had one report of damage by Friday morning. A house on Country Road 1069 was severely damaged when a tree fell on the roof.

At one point, the North East Mississippi Electric Power Association reported about 4,000 customers without power due to downed trees and limbs.

Oxford Utilities had more than 700 customers without power on Wednesday.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is working with counties to assess the damage. Thus far, two deaths have been reported (Scott and Leflore counties) and six injuries. The National Weather Service Jackson confirmed an EF 1 tornado hit Hinds County on April 9 and an EF 0 tornado hit Madison County on April 10. Statewide, counties have so far reported that 179 homes were damaged. Initial damage assessments are underway.

If your home or vehicle was damaged in the storms, the Mississippi Insurance Department offered the following steps when filing a claim:

  • Prepare to file an insurance claim by gathering all relevant policy numbers.
  • File your claim as soon as possible. Your policy may require that you make the notification within a certain time period.
  • Be aware, if a widespread disaster has occurred, the company may set up special procedures.
  • Be sure you cooperate fully with the insurance company. Ask what documents, forms and data you will need to file a claim. Keep a record of all conversations with insurance companies, creditors or relief agencies.
  • If your home is damaged to the extent that you can’t live there, ask your insurance company if you have coverage for additional living expenses.
  • Take photographs/video of the damage. Inventory your home for damaged or lost items before your adjustor arrives. This will speed up your claim process.
  • Make the repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your property (cover broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls).
  • Don’t have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs. Be prepared to provide the claims adjuster with records of any improvements you made prior to the damage.
  • Maintain any damaged personal property for the adjuster to inspect.
  • Ask the adjuster for an itemized explanation of the claim settlement offer.
  • Be patient and assist claims adjusters assigned to your case. Small losses may be settled quickly; extensive claims will take longer.
  • Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs covered by your insurance policy.