Weather hazards continue through Wednesday morning

Published 2:36 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2024

NATCHEZ — Public and private schools as well as city and county business offices remain closed on Wednesday while hazardous road conditions from freezing weather this week continue.

Some thawing isn’t expected until 9 a.m. Wednesday while a second freeze could come during the night Wednesday, said Tom McGehee, planning chief with Adams County Emergency Management Agency.

EMA advised all schools to remain closed to give the roadways the chance to fully thaw. Heading their advice, Natchez Adams School District, Cathedral, Adams County Christian, and Concordia Parish Schools will be closed with ACCS and Cathedral holding virtual and distance learning activities.

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All city and county business offices, apart from essential first responders and public works, will be closed Wednesday also. The warming shelter stationed at the Adams County Safe Room at 323 Liberty Road remains open through Thursday morning.

The doors are open to anyone needing to take shelter. Bring any bedding, food and drink, clothing and medications needed. Small pets are welcome but must be in a kennel, EMA states.

Schools and public offices are advised to check their buildings for any maintenance needs and if they are in need of sand or salt for driveways and walkways to let Public Works know by 12 p.m. Wednesday.

According to the National Weather Service, a Hard Freeze Warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 5 to 15 degrees are predicted as far southeast as Arkansas, northeast Louisiana, and much of central and southern Mississippi.

Extremely cold conditions will result in damage to exposed pipes, and water main breaks are expected.

“Take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold,” NWS states. “To prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes, they should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly. Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above-ground pipes to protect them from freezing.”

McGehee said the county appears to be in the clear of any more freezing precipitation with non-frozen rain possible on Thursday. However, the remaining ice on the roads is still hazardous to traffic.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said numerous weather-related traffic incidences were reported throughout the day Tuesday, including cars slipping and sliding off of roads and becoming stuck.

The Natchez post office said icy roads presented a problem to mail carriers as well, with no less than seven mail trucks having to be rescued from getting stuck. No injuries were reported.

Those with damages related to the winter storm are asked to contact Adams County emergency management and report it.

If the county does receive enough damages, it could meet the required threshold for some reimbursement from FEMA or MEMA for costs associated with the weather.

City of Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson advised residents to let their faucets run on a slow drip between now and Wednesday to prevent city pipes from freezing and bursting.

Also, turn off and unplug any appliances before leaving your home in the event of power loss to prevent fires when power is restored.