Area hit with second round of rough weather, causing more power outages

July 9, 2009 at 1:37 am

*published July 9, 2009

The Lake Area was struck Wednesday with a second round of bad weather in three days, but only minimal damage and power outages were reported.

A severe thunderstorm warning that went into effect at about 4:30 p.m. predicted wind gusts of up to 70 mph.

“The severity of the storm came from two storms colliding over Allen Parish,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Kent Kuyper.

He said the storms — one from the northeast and one from the southwest — collided and were intensified by the afternoon heat. “It was like pouring gas on the fire,” Kuyper said.

Wind gusts of 53 mph were recorded at Lake Charles Regional Airport, and nickelsize hail fell near Interstate 210 and La. 14, he said.

Kuyper said most damage was reported in and around Iowa, which was predicted to be hit hardest.

Downed trees and power lines were reported there, along with power outages.

“At its peak, we had about 7,000 residents without power,” said Sheila Pounders, Entergy regional customer service manager.

She said the outages, reported mostly in the eastern part of Calcasieu Parish, were all attributed to lightning strikes.

Pounders said some damage was caused when wind picked up a shed and sent it into a set of transmission lines.

Lake Charles police and Calcasieu Parish dispatchers reported no major incidents during the storm. State police listed four minor accidents.

Kuyper said residents can expect the area to see normal weather, with temperatures in the high 90s and about a 20 percent chance of rain, during each of the next two days.

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