City offices closed Tuesday; mayor provides update on preparations for deep freeze

Published 11:11 am Monday, January 15, 2024

NATCHEZ — City of Natchez offices will be closed on Tuesday out of an abundance of caution for employee safety.

Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said Tuesday’s special meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, set for 11 a.m., will be rescheduled, as well.

“We are going to urge the county to do the same — close its offices and reschedule its board of supervisors meeting,” the mayor said.

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“We are not expecting a thaw until Wednesday morning. This move is out of an abundance of caution. The last thing we need is for people to drive on slick roads and have accidents that require our first responders to be out in these conditions when, at any moment, they could be needed elsewhere,” Gibson said.

City officials and staff are coordinating with Entergy and other utility partners in the event of any loss of power or other incidents, “so we will be ready.”

The Natchez Public Works department has prepared through the weekend to make certain they are prepared to handle any road issues that could come up.

“We also are very grateful that the organizers of today’s parade saw fit to postpone it. In like manner, we have decided to postpone the event at Zion Chapel, the signing ceremony where the church is conveying ownership of the MLK Triangle to the city,” Gibson said.

The mayor urged all Natchez residents to keep a slow trickle of water flowing from faucets “to keep movement in our water system because the last thing we need are broken pipes all over town when the thaw comes on Wednesday morning. That’s a lesson we learned during the ice storm in February 2021.

“Broken pipes can result in a sudden loss of water pressure and with our city being under freezing conditions for the next two days, freezing pipes are bound to happen unless we keep movement in the system.”

Those who experience a broken city water line should call Natchez Water Works at 601-445-5521 and select Option 8.

“Another really important thing is to bring your pets inside and check on loved ones, shut-ins, the elderly to make sure they have heat, food and water,” the mayor said.

He said he would attend another weather meeting set for noon today with Miss-Lou city and county officials.

“We will know more after that. Our hope is these are all precautions that hopefully will be just that. Precautions. And we pray we will actually dodge the worst of this, and we surely pray for our neighbors up north,” Gibson said.