NO MAJOR PROBLEMS REPORTED, BUT RESIDENTS ADVISED TO STAY OFF ROADS
By Jane Clark Summers
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
Law enforcement officials in Northeast Mississippi’s 15 counties reported no major weather-related problems through Friday afternoon. Sheriff’s department officials in the area said roads were icy and in bad condition, but none were closed.
Only Clay County reported widespread power outages. A sheriff’s department dispatcher reported the western part of Clay County, which is served by 4-County Electric Power Association, was without power. Itawamba County Sheriff Leon Hayes said there were some power failures in the northern part of that county, and scattered outages were reported in some other counties.
No major wrecks or fatalities had been reported Friday afternoon as a result of the winter storm. However, there were reports of numerous fender-benders, jackknifed trucks and vehicles running off the road.
In Marshall County, dispatcher Vanessa Taylor said no roads were closed, “but they should be. We are telling people to travel at their own risk.”
Taylor said people involved in minor accidents “are handling it on their own,” exchanging names and insurance providers and coming by the sheriff’s office to pick up wreck report forms. Marshall County officers were trying to assist highway patrolman, who were swamped with calls Friday, Taylor said.
Trooper Willie Ewing was helping answer phones at the New Albany District substation Friday afternoon. All Highway Patrol units were tied up answering wreck calls, he said. All days off, annual leave and comp time has been canceled and all available units are working, Ewing said.
“We have had a lot of jackknifes and people running in ditches,” Ewing said. “All highways are about the same – real bad.”
Thomas McCloud of the patrol’s Batesville district said there have been constant reports of wrecks but nothing major. “We have had 18-wheelers sideways and jackknifed, trucks upside down and cars off here. It’s a mess everywhere,” McCloud said.
Although roads are not closed, the accidents close them at least temporarily at times, he said.
“We don’t have the authority or I would close them all,” McCloud said, when asked if any roads in the district were closed. That’s up to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, he said.
In the Starkville district, the report was much the same. No major wrecks were reported and no roads were closed, but citizens were advised not to drive unless absolutely necessary.