HED:NE Miss roads get icy

AUTHOR: EILEEN

HED:NE Miss roads get icy

By Eileen Bailey

Daily Journal

Northeast Mississippi residents, particularly those in the northern and western counties, encountered numerous driving hazards Friday as most of the northern half of the state was placed under a snow advisory.

By 3 p.m., Corinth had reported 2 inches of snow, said David Gaffin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Memphis. Other areas were expected to receive between 1 to 3 inches, Gaffin said.

The snow, combined with lower temperatures, caused driving hazards along the state’s roads and highways, including icing of bridges, he said. Several school districts in Northeast Mississippi also released students early on Friday.

No highways had been closed as of 4 p.m., said Paul Swindoll, engineer for the Northern District of the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The Natchez Trace also remained open. At 6 p.m., the Highway Patrol reported no roads had been closed by the highway department; however, bridges and overpasses north of Tupelo were becoming especially treacherous.

“Bridges have a tendency to ice up during times like this,” Swindoll said. “We have crews out putting slag on bridges and will have crews out as needed.”

Ice is found more on bridges because the cold air can pass under them, he said. The roads have the ground’s warmth to help keep them clear, Swindoll said.

Law enforcement officials throughout Northeast Mississippi, mainly in the northern and western counties, reported numerous accidents because of the conditions.

Staff Sgt. Thomas McCloud with the Batesville Highway Patrol District, which includes Marshall and Lafayette counties, said conditions Friday afternoon were “wet and slushy” along the roads.

“We are getting into a mess and things are beginning to freeze,” McCloud said. “We have had a few wrecks. We are just going from one wreck to another.”

Most of the wrecks, he said, were occurring at bridges. But, as night approached, McCloud predicted road conditions could get worse as the temperature begins to drop.

At 6 p.m., the New Albany Highway Patrol District reported 25 to 30 accidents on area highways, including an accident in which a car had hit a trooper’s vehicle while he was working an accident on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway bridge near Fulton. The trooper was treated and released from North Mississippi Medical Center.

Numerous accidents were reported to Lee County 911 late Friday afternoon as temperatures began to dip.

Continued cold

High temperatures today were expected to stay in the upper 20s under partly cloudy skies, Gaffin said.

For Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecasts a continued chance of snow or sleet, with morning lows in the teens. Highs are expected to be in the mid-20s Sunday.

On Monday, lows are expected to be in the upper teens, with highs in the lower 20s.

Conditions will be slightly warmer Tuesday, when highs are expected to be in the lower 30s. Lows should be in the 20s.

Daily Journal Staff Writer Michaela Gibson Morris contributed to this story.