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Storms Cause Damage, Injuries in Miss.

April 6, 2005

BRANDON, Miss. (AP) _ Lines of violent thunderstorms rolled across the South on Wednesday with possible tornadoes, high wind and heavy rain, ripping away roofs and downing trees and power lines.

There were no immediate reports of deaths, but at least one person was critically injured in Mississippi, where Gov. Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency in storm-damaged areas.

Numerous mobile homes were destroyed and damage was reported to roofs and vehicles in areas south and southeast of Brandon, in Rankin County just east of Jackson. Along one street, it appeared that only one house escaped without major damage and a church was heavily damaged, with its roof ripped away.

Downed power lines were draped across yards and roads and many of the trees left standing were dotted with debris. Several vehicles were smashed by fallen trees.

``We’ve got trees in your yard that don’t belong to us,″ said Sandra Cook, whose home in the community of Monterey was destroyed. She said her husband called her at work to report the damage but ``he didn’t tell me it was all gone.″

Storm watches and warnings were posted for sections of Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. The National Weather Service posted a flood watch for northwestern Alabama.

In Louisiana, a possible tornado destroyed six or seven homes and damaged about as many more near the Webster-Bienville parish line, Webster Parish Chief Deputy Bobby Igo said. An 8-year-old boy suffered a severe cut when he stepped through a pane of glass trying to get out from under wreckage, Igo said.

A preliminary survey in Rankin County showed at least 17 homes destroyed and 15 others with major damage, said Amy Carruth, a Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman in Brandon.

Six people were injured in Rankin County, one in critical condition, Carruth said.

A funnel cloud was reported in the area but the National Weather Service did not immediately confirm a tornado touchdown.

Also damaged was a new school under construction at Brandon. Construction trailers were overturned and there appeared to be extensive roof damage, said Truman Johns, a superintendent for the company building the school.

``That storage area looks like a junkyard,″ Johns said.

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On the Net:

Weather Service warnings: http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/nationalwarnings.html