Thousands of Mississippians are still without power as the state faces a heat advisory. In a tweet just before 8 a.m., the Mississippi Emergency Management Authority said the outages affected 38,000 people.
The Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport lost power overnight due to a tree falling on the main circuit during the thunderstorm that swept the region, delaying flights. The power came back this morning at 5:45 a.m., but the airport expects additional delays, according to a press release.
“Despite the restoration of power, the airport anticipates residual effects from the outage, leading to continued delays and potential disruptions to flight schedules throughout the day,” the statement said. “We encourage all passengers to check the status of their flights with their respective airlines for the most up-to-date information.”
A June 26 press release said Entergy Mississippi has been working since last night to restore power for over 25,000 customers.
“As of 11:30 a.m., Entergy Mississippi has already restored power to more than 10,000 customers. Most of the impacted customers … are in the Jackson, Rankin, Clinton, Madison and Vicksburg areas,” the press release stated. Customers should be aware that severe weather continues to ripple through the region and may cause additional outages.
After severe thunderstorms hit on June 16, over 138,000 people lost power. Entergy Mississippi has been working to restore services for over a week. Entergy Mississippi serves 461,000 households in 45 counties.
In a June 23 open letter to its customers, Entergy said the “unprecedented series of severe storms, tornadoes and unusually high winds … caused the largest outage in our service area since Hurricane Katrina.”
“This event saw scores of fast-moving storm cells with 80+ mph winds cutting a widespread path through our entire service area. This treacherous weather also came day-after-day, sometimes through the same areas repeatedly,” CEO Haley Fisackerly said. “The damage was so extensive that our power grid lost half as many poles, wires and transformers in one week as we lost from all storms in 2020, which was one of our worst storm years in recent history with four hurricanes and two tropical storms.”
Climate change is driving more volatile weather patterns, a recent report from top climate scientists and meteorologists found.
“Extreme heat events are more extreme than ever,” Stephanie Herring, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist and one of the report’s authors, told NPR in January. “Research is showing they’re likely to become the new normal in the not-so-distant future.”
A map on Entergy’s website at 11 a.m. showed the outages continued to affect 14,998 Mississippi customers on the western side of the state, including Jackson, Vicksburg and Mendenhall.
The National Weather Service in Jackson said this week will feature “significant-dangerous heat stress” as peak temperatures could reach 115. It advises people to stay hydrated and stay indoors.
NWS issued severe thunderstorm warnings Sunday night for Hattiesburg, Petal, Columbia, Laurel, Ellisville, Collins, Magee, Mendenhall, Forest, Newton, Crystal Springs, Jackson, Pearl, Clinton, Carthage, Kosciusko, Durant, Tchula, Yazoo City, Rolling Fork and Indianola. It noted special weather statements in several other areas, like Starkville, West Point, Maben, Madison and Ridgeland.