PEARL – The State Emergency Operations Center is reminding residents to be prepared for extreme winter weather conditions for the northern half of Mississippi beginning Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service is forecasting heaviest snow of up to six inches in an area from Greenville to Columbus and Clarksdale to Tupelo. Other areas of north and central Mississippi could see two to four inches.
There is extreme uncertainty for the Interstate 20 corridor, including the Jackson metro area. Temperatures, one degree up or down could mean the difference between rain, freezing rain, sleet, or snow. It is imperative citizens stay informed of the latest weather forecasts and possible closures of schools and businesses first thing in the morning.
Extremely dangerous travel conditions will begin in the morning on the western side of the state and continue eastward through the afternoon. There is also the strong possibility of power outages occurring in hard hit areas. Everyone should have a fully stocked emergency supply kit and have a plan for what you will do if you lose power or where you will go should you have to leave your home.
County emergency managers are prepared to coordinate the opening of shelters with the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Red Cross if necessary.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation has crews ready to treat roadways with de-icing materials and snow removal.
The Mississippi Department of Health is working closely with all hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities and providers.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reminds residents to keep the following tips in mind while dealing with winter weather:
- Check on neighbors who are shut-ins, elderly, families with small children, medical-care dependent, non-English speaking, low-income and have no transportation to ensure they have power and are safe.
- Stay home and do not drive on snowy or icy roads unless it is an emergency.
- Bring pets/companion animals inside during freezing weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
- Have a fully stocked emergency supply kit.
- Stay clear of downed power lines. Even if the electricity appears to have been turned off, leave the lines alone. Do not try to move them yourself.
- Only operate generators outdoors. Do not operate a generator inside your home or garage.
- Be cautious when using alternative heat sources. Do not use a stove for heat because it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. If using space heaters please make sure there are no objects on or near them that could catch fire.
- Letting water drip from a faucet during extremely cold weather can relieve water pressure and help prevent pipes of your home from bursting. If you suspect your pipes are frozen and may have burst, turn off your water at the main shut-off valve and call a plumber.
The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated to respond to any requests for assistance from local governments.
For up-to-date roadway information, go to www.mdottraffic.com or dial 5-1-1.
For detailed preparedness information, go to MEMA’s website at www.msema.org. The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, or “Follow” us on twitter.