At the behest of Sunflower County Emergency Management Director Denny Evans,on Monday, the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to declare a state of emergency for the county due to the storms that passed through on Easter Sunday.
According to Evans the main reason for declaring the emergency is to let the state officials know that the county has some very serious situations so the state office can assess and determine if it needs to free-up state resources for the area.
Another benefit is that it frees up their purchasing ability in case some items are needed right away.
Additionally, it also allows county workers to be able to go onto private property to assess damage and help with cleanup.
Evans reported that he was aware of at least four structures that had received damage within the county. The one that he was most familiar with was south of Moorhead on the Moorhead-Belzoni Road where a tree fell across a mobile home.
Also, in the town of Drew, a tree fell on a home on Ruby Street and trapped the family inside until rescue workers could help free them. Evans said he didn’t have any information on the nature of the damage on any of the other structures, other than the one he had physically witnessed on Moorhead-Belzoni Road.
Evans said he was out at 3 a.m., Monday morning as part of the rescue effort. He added that the homeowner in that incident had to be airlifted.
Evans asserted that although Sunday night's winds caused structural damage and damage to vegetation in the form of downed trees, there was no current indication that the winds were tornadic in nature.
He said they were just "strong thunderstorm winds" and that it would be up to the weather service in Jackson to do an assessment. "If they come up and do a survey on it that may determine differently, but that's all I know for now," he said.
District 4 and 5 supervisors Anthony Clark and Gloria Dickerson were not present for Monday's meeting.
In other business,
The county leaders spent nearly 40 minutes discussing their current leave policy after District 1 Supervisor Glenn Donald raised a question about furloughs. They issued new instructions to County Administrator Gloria McIntosh regarding the leave time for the assistant road managers.
They also voted to accept a request by Sheriff James Haywood to change his department’s email services over to 3 Rivers Communications.