By Galen Holley / NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A good portion of the city stayed home Monday, and a look down East Main Street showed darkened shop windows and empty, snow-covered parking slots.
That meant less folks were on the roads, and according to Maj. Jackie Clayton of the Tupelo Police Department, it also meant few accidents.
With the exception of a couple of drivers sliding off the road, Clayton said no serious accidents were reported between 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
To be on the safe side, the department had all five members of its traffic unit report to work at 7 a.m., but as of midday they’d had little to respond to.
In the mid-afternoon traffic downtown and toward Presley Heights was quiet, and at the Greyhound bus station manager Larry Graves was busy answering calls, but no busses docked in the All-America City, nor did any run throughout the entire state.
In fact, Greyhound canceled busses throughout the South, in cities like Atlanta, Birmingham and Memphis.
Graves said that Greyhound rarely cancels busses in cities that get heavy snowfall, like Chicago and Minneapolis. The difference for cities like Tupelo and Birmingham is that, given the infrequency with which snow falls, they don’t have the stand-by resources to deal quickly with large accumulation.
Drivers weren’t the only ones imperiled by the snow and freezing temperatures Monday.
At the Salvation Army on Carnation Street, the Red Shield Lodge was overflowed with borders, and those for whom there wasn’t a bed bunked in the gym.
On Monday 51-year-old Dennis Sanders was among those gathering his mattress and sheets off the gym floor, and enjoying a hot meal and a little conversation with fellow borders.
“I”m just glad to have somewhere to get in out of this snow,” said Sanders, pulling his coat tight around him.
While the snow drove folks like Sanders inside, it drew others, like 16-year-old Havanna Young, and her friends Chandler Scott and Keena Belk outside.
In the mid afternoon the three romped through the immaculate powder that covered Robins-Noble Park.
Young fell down, and Belk and Scott wasted no time in covering her head to toe in snow as she screeched and laughed.
“I’ve never seen snow like this, except in pictures,” said Scott, as he admired a 10-foot-tall snowman someone had erected on the north side of the field.
“This is just amazing.