JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Seventeen counties are reporting damage the severe storm that produced large hail in the Jackson, Miss., metropolitan area and high winds to areas of north Mississippi.
Jackson and its suburbs were hit Monday by hail that busted windows in cars, homes and businesses and temporarily left a blanket of ice on some parking lots and sidewalks.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said much of the damage was caused by golf ball to tennis ball-sized hail. MEMA officials said their headquarters was damaged by hail.
Baseball-sized hail was reported in Jackson and its suburbs, including the cities of Jackson, Clinton, Madison, Pearl and Brandon.
Authorities said no serious injuries were report although some people were slightly hurt when they were hit by hail.
Officials say dozens of homes were damaged in Rankin County.
Glenn Ezell and his son were putting tarps on the metal roof of their mobile home in Brandon after the storm swept through the area.
"It started hailing big enough that it come through the roof and broke the sheetrock. It was as big as your fist," he said.
The hail also broke a window and damaged screens, he said.
His wife, Brenda, said the noise was so loud inside the mobile home that they went outside on the porch.
"It sounded like the world was coming to an end," she said. "I'm 55 years old and I've never seen anything like it in my life."
Damage assessments were beginning Tuesday.
Roads throughout the Jackson area were littered with broken limbs and pine needles, from the hail driving through trees. Cars could be seen driving along the interstate Monday with broken windows and cracked windshields.
Car dealerships were not spared. General Sales Manager David Rinehart said 250 vehicles were damaged at Paul Moak Honda. Many of the vehicles have broken windows and windshields. Rinehart said the damage will be repaired and Honda is already sending in new vehicles.
David Hall, General Sales Manager of Herrin-Gear near downtown Jackson, said cars on their 20 acres of lots were damaged.
Hinds County emergency management specialist Robin Garrard said the "damage is pretty much spread all through Hinds County with windows busted, car damage, that kind of thing."
MEMA said downed trees and power lines and property damage were reported in the following counties: Amite, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Clay, Grenada, Hinds, Itawamba, Lawrence, Lee, Lowndes, Monroe, Neshoba, Rankin, Tallahatchie, Tishomingo, Union and Warren.
The Clinton Public School District said Lovett Elementary school was closed Tuesday because of the hail storm but classes would be held at alternate sites. Once buses have run their routes, students will be transported to different campuses. Students would be shuttled back to Lovett in the afternoon and car riders may be picked up at Lovett at the usual dismissal time.
"Roof damage has caused leaks in most every classroom," said Sandi Beason, a spokeswoman for the Clinton Public School District. "Fortunately, no one was injured. The storm hit at the end of dismissal and nearly all students had left for the day."