By midday Thursday, the influx of inclement weather that moved through the state had left a number of area residents without power.

“We’ve had outages throughout our service area — Clarke, Lauderdale, Kemper and Winston counties,” said Mike Reich, director of communications and marketing for East Mississippi Electric Power Association.

Wind gusts of 80-plus mph — accompanied by heavy rain — swept through the state. Much of the lost electricity was attributed to downed trees and limbs.

“That’s where most of the damage appears to be coming from,” Reich said. “We’ve had some pretty severe weather.”

In addition to power outages, there were also unconfirmed reports of broken poles, he said.

Utility crews were in the affected areas Thursday afternoon making repairs and were expected to work throughout the evening.

Mississippi Power Co.’s crews were at the ready Thursday afternoon to respond to reports of power failures.

“We’ve had a few scattered outages in the area,” said Kurt Brautigam, manager of external communications for Mississippi Power.

By 5 p.m., about 50 Meridian homes and 100 homes in Hickory were without power, Brautigam said.

The impending storm disrupted many of the area’s daily operations.

Meridian and Lauderdale County public school students were sent home early. A Lauderdale County School Board meeting was rescheduled for noon today.

Some businesses closed their doors several hours early in anticipation of bad weather. And only essential personnel were instructed to report to work at Naval Air Station Meridian. The base returns to regular working schedules today.

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