Snow, ice blanket area, creating fun for some, problems for others

Published 6:44 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2018

NATCHEZ — Though the snow has stopped falling, temperatures will drop into the low teens today and Thursday in the Miss-Lou.

National Weather Service meteorologist Thomas Winesett said the forecasted high for today is 31 and a low of 15 tonight.

Factoring in wind speeds of 13 to 14 miles-per-hour, Winesett said the temperature will feel more like 2 degrees.

Email newsletter signup

Winesett said the inclement weather means residents should watch out for the “four Ps”: People, pipes, pets and plants.

Winesett said to check on elderly or infirmed persons, turn off or wrap exposed pipes, allow pets inside where possible and take any potted plants indoors.

“It’s going to get dangerously cold,” Winesett said. “If you go out, make sure you have layers, hats, gloves — that sort of thing. It only takes 30 minutes of being exposed to the cold for hypothermia to set in.”

Natchez-Adams Schools, Trinity Episcopal Day School, Cathedral School, Delta Charter School, Adams County Christian School, Holy Family Early Learning Center, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Central Louisiana Technical Community College and schools in Concordia and Tensas parishes will be closed today due to the inclement weather.  Other area schools had not publicly announced closures yet, but were expected to follow suit.

Adams County Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford asked residents to stay inside if at all possible and to only drive in the case of an emergency.

“If you must drive, keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you,” Bradford said. “It’s going to drop, and we’ve got to be aware.”

Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said though there were few accidents in the snow Tuesday morning, there were four wrecks within a span of 45 minutes at approximately 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when the roads began to ice over.

Armstrong said officers responded to one case of a stranded car and had directed several homeless individuals to the Adams County Safe Room, which county supervisors opened as a shelter from the storm by declaring an emergency earlier Tuesday. The shelter will be open until Friday.

“The roads are already getting slick,” Armstrong said at approximately 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. “We suspect that as temperatures drop, our roads will become more dangerous to travel.”

Armstrong advised that residents keep their cars fully fueled just in case of an accident.

If you must drive, Armstrong said, reduce speeds, especially when approaching a bridge.

“You want to coast on the bridge without using your brake and only using your accelerator if necessary,” Armstrong said. “To do that you need to reduce your speed before crossing the bridge.”

Armstrong said the Mississippi River bridge, too, had already begun to ice over in some places Thursday afternoon.

Public relations officer for the Mississippi Department of Transportation Jason Scott said crews across the state had been pretreating or spreading salt on  bridges since Sunday.

“We focus our efforts on bridges first because they’ll freeze first,” Scott said. “We are continuing to monitor and respond to the weather situation.”