More emergency services reports from Saturday storm   

New Albany MS Tropical storm Olga track
Post Tropical Storm Olga, the culprit in damages and power outages throughout several counties in our local area.
October 27th, 2019     General News

A wind storm spawned by what the National Weather Service calls “post Tropical Storm Olga” caused extensive damage Saturday in Union County and surrounding counties.

New Albany and Union County public safety and power company personnel had an intensely busy day Saturday, Oct. 26 as a result of the storm and unrelated incidents.

As reported yesterday by the high winds struck New Albany about 12:30 p.m.

New Albany MS Methodist Church

Many Union County residents experienced substantial damages and inconvenience from Olga. Scenes like the above photo will soon transition to piles of debris along sidewalks and roadways.

Emergency calls started long before the storm struck

However, the busy day for the New Albany Fire Department (NAFD) actually started nearly 12 hours before the windstorm struck.

Firemen were called at 1 a.m. Saturday morning to a house fire on Jay Street. The fire was in the attic and was, according to Assistant NAFD Chief Mark Whiteside, “an electrical issue.” They quickly suppressed the Jay Street fire with a hose, and damage was minimal.

NAFD responded to two calls from Union County Health and Rehab that were apparent false alarms from a malfunction alarm system which was repaired.

There was a hot water heater fire at Walmart, but damage was limited to the water heater itself.

 Communication system used by emergency personnel failed during the storm

When the wind storm struck early Saturday afternoon, Assistant NAFD Chief Whiteside said, “Our primary radio system and backup system went down while the power was out. We took quick action for an alternate plan of communications. We were able to communicate on what we can talk around. It just does not reach very far”

Tree and power lines fell on truck driven by assistant fire chief

New Albany MS Whiteside near miss

New Albany Fire Department Deputy Chief Mark Whiteside had a near miss in Saturday’s storm, Oct 26.

Whiteside himself had a close call during the windstorm. Returning from a call, he was driving northwest on Moss Hill Drive when the Saturday storm struck. “I was driving up Moss Hill at about 35 miles an hour when a tree and power lines broke and fell on my truck,” said Whiteside.

The truck received extensive damage, but Whiteside was not injured. “I consider myself very lucky,” he said.

As of about 9AM this morning New Albany Lights Gas & Water still had customers off the power grid, and work is continuing around the New ALbany/Union County area.  NALGW requests that, if your neighbors have power and you don’t, call NALGW at 534-1031.

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