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Oxford first responders prepared for Tropical Depression Ida

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT
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OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - Remnants of Ida entered our North Mississippi viewing area, where first responders have been preparing for the oncoming storm.

The main concern for Oxford and Lafayette County, we’re told, is downed trees blocking roadways and hitting homes, as well as flash flooding that is likely to happen, according to the National Weather Service.

“You never know if it’s going to be a downed tree, lightning strike that causes a structure fire, a broken gas line,” said Chief Joey Gardner with the Oxford Fire Department. “You just need to be ready for whatever comes our way.”

Gardner and his firefighters have the chainsaws and generators gassed up for what they expect could be a busy next 48 hours.

“That’s our main issue when storms come through Oxford are downed trees,” Gardner said. “We’re always working with chainsaws and making sure all our new people are comfortable using them.”

Over the course of Monday, Ida veered more toward the east than anticipated, leaving only a few of our North Mississippi cities in its path, like Oxford.

Whether we see heavy storms or just a light rain, Gardner’s team is on standby for the worst.

“We’re treating it just like, you know, any other time we have thunderstorms coming through,” said Gardner. “If it does come, we’ll be ready to do whatever we have to do.”

Collaboration with city and county departments is going to be key for this storm.

We’ve learned there are several from Lafayette County’s road department out sick with COVID-19, so when it comes to these trees and flooded roads, it could potentially be all hands on deck.

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