PINE BELT (WDAM) - Severe weather across the Pine Belt on Thursday damaged homes and flooded roads in several communities.
“I’ve never seen one like this. It just really came out nowhere for me. Just chilling at the house and I heard thunder and lightning and rain coming down hard,” said Coby Barns, a Hattiesburg resident.
Barns is one of many Pine Belt Residents who felt the effect of the severe weather that struck many by surprise.
Several areas throughout the Pine Belt were hit hard with thunderstorms that brought rain and flash flooding.
We ran into multiple stalled cars on the side of the road due to high rain levels, and some were even submerged underwater.
Earlier in the afternoon, first responders in Columbia had to block off a large portion of downtown to prevent drivers from traveling through intensely flooded streets.
Officials said the rain began early in the afternoon and didn’t let up.
“We started out around 1:00 with the heavy rains. We had some flash flooding go on 49 under the 4th street bridge. We went and blocked traffic there,” said Zack Barrett with the Hattiesburg Fire Department.
The department had to block off the University of Southern Mississippi overpass on Highway 49 at Fourth Street.
On West Red Street in Hattiesburg, flooding caused Hattiesburg Police Department officers to blocked off the road to avoid any accidents.
A family on Springhill Road in Laurel said they were having dinner when they believe a lightning strike caused a tree in their front yard to split and land on their home.
No one there was injured, but the home did have some damage to the roof and a portion of their home was left without power.
Until things are dry and the roads conditions are safe enough to travel, first responders are encouraging folks to stay inside.