Winter storm may bypass Natchez area

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 27, 2000

It might be the weather that wasn’t. Much of the Miss-Lou kept an eye on the Weather Channel Thursday as winter weather continued to be a threat, but no snow fell in the area.

Natchez students stayed home, with classes cancelled by principals who wanted to be &uot;better safe than sorry.&uot;

Thursday night, the area was under a winter weather advisory, with sleet reported in Concordia and Catahoula parishes, said Adams County Civil Defense Director George Souderes. He said the precipitation could cause bridges and overpasses to freeze, so he advised people to drive carefully throughout the day.

Email newsletter signup

The freezing rain that had been expected to fall in the early morning hours on Thursday was part of a slow-moving storm that dumped snow on Texas and northern Louisiana and Mississippi.

But most people in Natchez — except maybe school children — were hoping the worst of the storm would stay away from the area.

Steve Miller, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said Thursday the storm was moving more slowly than meteorologists had originally thought.

&uot;It’s still looking like the worst will be north of ya’ll,&uot; he said. &uot;You may get some freezing rain, but it’ll be more of an annoyance than anything.&uot;

Wal-Mart employee Mary Brumfield thought people in the Miss-Lou have no real reason to worry about the weather.

&uot;I think it’s just the time of year. Natchez is a small place,&uot;&160;she said. &uot;A little bit of a degree drop and people just get upset about it.&uot;

Employees thought the &uot;weather fears&uot; did bring out more Wal-Mart customers on Wednesday and Thursday morning.

Adams County Road Manager Russell Dorris had crews ready for a second night of watching the weather, but as he watched the radar on his computer Thursday afternoon he didn’t expect any major problems.

&uot;We’re standing by with barricades and sand,&uot; Dorris said. &uot;It looks like it may just pass us by. We may be lucky.&uot;

Reggie Carter, street superintendent for Natchez, said city public works employees had generators and sand ready in case icy conditions occur. &uot;We’ve got our crews on standby in case anything happens,&uot; Carter said.

Natchez resident Debra Traywick said she doubted the Miss-Lou was going to have a bad storm.

&uot;I’ll believe it when I see it,&uot;&160;she said. &uot;Natchez never gets bad bad weather.&uot;

Neither did Concordia Parish. A trace of sleet in mid-morning and late evening and bitterly cold temperatures all day were the only signs of severe winter weather in the parish Thursday, said Civil Defense Director Morris White.

The Vidalia Police Department received no reports of icy roads, and the fire department responded to no fire or medical calls Thursday.

But White said forecasts show severe winter weather may hit Concordia Parish this weekend.

&uot;We’re just watching the weather and keeping all our emergency departments on standby,&uot;&160;White said.

Forrest Persons, customer service manager for Entergy in Natchez, said he was also hoping the winter weather would skip Natchez. Late Thursday he did not know of any power outages in the state, but he warned that if ice accumulated on power lines problems could occur. &uot;If there’s a line down anywhere, stay away from it,&uot; he said.

Anyone needing to report power outages or downed lines can call 1-800-9-OUTAGE or 1-800-ENTERGY.

Staff writer Nita McCann contributed to this report.