Area braces for ice, schools, offices close early

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 4, 2011

NATCHEZ — The National Weather Service in Jackson is again urging area residents to be wary of the cold and icy weather today.

A winter storm warning for sleet and ice was issued by the National Weather Service Thursday from noon until 9 a.m. today.

Meteorologist Allan Campbell said due to Thursday’s sleet and freezing rain, ice accumulation on area streets could make it hazardous for cars traveling through the area.

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“Ice on roads always causes problems for motorists,” he said. “If you can avoid getting on the roads, please do so.”

Natchez resident Jeremy Luville stocked up on batteries and portable space heaters at Walmart and said he was preparing for the worst.

“You never know what the weather will do,” he said. “I just want to be as prepared as possible.”

Campbell also said conditions will start to look better today, but temperatures will still be cold.

“Things are going to warm up a little with highs in the mid 30s today,” he said. “There is still a chance of rain and a freezing rain mix until the afternoon, which may add up to a tenth of an inch of ice accumulation on the roads.”

Campbell said for Friday afternoon and evening, there is a 20-percent chance of snow flurries for the area.

“There are going to be a few clouds in the evening, and then things are going to begin to clear up for Saturday,” he said. “The low for Friday should reach around 24 degrees.”

Vidalia resident Tina Griffin said she would prefer snow over the ice and freezing rain the Miss-Lou received on Thursday.

“At least with snow, you have something pretty to look at,” she said. “This ice is making everything too wet and dangerous.”

Griffin said she filled up her car on Thursday even though she had a half of a tank of gas because she wanted to avoid getting caught in the bad weather.

“You never know what you are going to have to go do at any moment, let alone when there are icy roads,” she said. “I want to be able to get as far as possible without having to stop in weather that bad.”

Campbell said while the temperatures will still be chilly, Saturday should bring some relief to area residents.

“Saturday we are looking at mostly sunny skies, with the highs climbing up to around the mid 40s,” he said. “I know 40 doesn’t sound much warmer, but compared to the past few days, the temperature will be pretty warm.”

Campbell said while the temperatures may be warming up on Saturday, residents need to be wary of a hard freeze.

“With temperatures all week struggling to reach above freezing, the cold can cause wear and tear on water lines,” he said. “Be sure to get a drip going on your kitchen sink so water doesn’t freeze up on your lines.”

Campbell also said residents with water valves outside need to wrap them to help stop the pipes from freezing.

Luville said while he just wants the cold and the ice to go away, his children are clamoring for more.

“My son just called me and said he hopes it ices and snows all weekend so he doesn’t have to go back to school on Monday,” he said. “I just want it to be warm.”