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Storms takes toll on timberland

NORTH MISSISSIPPI — State forestry officials estimate the damage to timber in North Mississippi by last week’s storm system to be more than $3.7 million.

The Mississippi Forestry Commission says the storms, which swept through the state May 1-2, spawned two tornadoes that hit 14 counties and affected 9,252 forested acres of land. Six people also were killed and major flooding was reported.

The costliest damage was to hardwood, valued at more than $2.8 million. Pine timber damage equaled about $719,000 and mixed timber damage was about $156,000.

Benton County sustained the heaviest damage — $2.1 million on 4,929 acres; Tippah County had $1.4 million on 3,825 acres and Lafayette County had $180,111 on 498 acres.

Gov. Haley Barbour has asked President Barack Obama to declare six counties — Alcorn, Benton, Lafayette, Tippah and Tishomingo — a major disaster area.

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