State Preparing for Several Days of Icy Conditions

PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is activating the State Emergency Operations Center tonight at 11 p.m. as winter precipitation is forecast to affect the state through Wednesday.

The National Weather Service is calling for up to a half inch of snow for counties along the Mississippi-Tennessee border with freezing rain and sleet, up to a tenth of an inch, for north and central areas through the morning.  Monday’s forecast is for a brief break in the weather, but more freezing rain and sleet will be possible Monday afternoon through Tuesday from the Highway 84 corridor and all points north with up to a quarter inch of ice accumulation.

“Right now the main threat appears to be very dangerous travel conditions,” said MEMA Executive Director Robert Latham. “We are hoping to avoid power outages with this system, but it is imperative people think about what they will do if their electricity goes out and you can’t travel because roads are iced over. Winter weather is the hardest thing to forecast in this state and a degree one way or the other can change things dramatically. Please don’t panic, just be prepared.”

The public is encouraged to follow all announcements of school and road closures that may occur.

Some of the state agency preparations:

The Mississippi Department of Transportation has crews ready to spread salt and sand on interstates, highways and state roads.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety has placed state troopers on 12 hour shifts and is prepared to call in additional personnel.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services is working with county emergency managers to coordinate if shelters become necessary.

The Mississippi Department of Education is working with local school districts about closures.

MEMA is coordinating with counties ready to fulfill requests for resources.

For detailed preparedness information, contact your county emergency management agency, or 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.

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