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Winter storm brings dangerous cold to...

Winter storm brings dangerous cold to the Magnolia State

By: Frank Corder - January 15, 2024

Photo from the National Weather Service

The National Weather Services has forecasted freezing rain, sleet, and snow for a significant portion of Mississippi, along with dangerous cold for the week. 

Mississippians are bundling up as cold temperatures and a wintry mix are making their way through the Southern U.S. Some areas of the state could see temperatures as low as 8 degrees with wind chills below zero.

On Sunday, Governor Tate Reeves issued a State of Emergency in anticipation of winter weather.

“The state of Mississippi is proactively taking steps to prepare for freezing temperatures and severe winter weather,” said Governor Reeves. “By declaring this State of Emergency, we can mobilize state assets, and better support response and recovery efforts. All Mississippians in the impacted areas are encouraged to take precautions over the next few days. Prepare your homes now for below-freezing temperatures, bring pets inside, and check in with your loved ones who are most susceptible during this frigid weather.”

The National Weather Services has forecasted freezing rain, sleet, and snow for a significant portion of Mississippi, along with dangerous cold for the week. 

Scene in Olive Branch, MS January 14, 2024 (Photo shared by WDAM on Facebook)

The State of Emergency allows the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to move assets throughout the state to support local governments in preparation for, response to, and recovery from the impending weather. 

Local municipalities are warning their citizens to stay off of the roads if at all possible.

Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill posted on Facebook Sunday that roads there were becoming very slick and there have been numerous wrecks already.

“Please stay at home if you can. Slow down at bridges,” she wrote.

A similar message came from Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba.

“If you can stay home, we ask that you do so,” the capital city mayor said.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials have been gearing up for potential winter weather in parts of Mississippi since last week. MDOT crews have prepared equipment by installing salt spreaders on trucks and making sure all response vehicles are fueled and running properly. Crews have stockpiled salt, sand and asphalt slag piles.

“MDOT workers are standing by, closely monitoring the weather updates from the National Weather Service and are ready to respond to treat roadways to keep motorists as safe as possible during this winter weather event,” said MDOT Executive Director Brad White on Thursday.

MDOT crews were out over the weekend preparing roadways and bridges for the wintry mix.

MDOT shared these safe driving tips:

  • Remember, ice will form on bridges and overpasses quicker than the road.
  • Slow down. Winter weather conditions can create black ice.
  • Allow more space between your car and the vehicles around you.
  • Brake early and gently to avoid skidding. Never slam on the brakes.
  • Avoid distractions, such as talking or texting on a cell phone.
About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: frank@magnoliatribune.com
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