The extreme cold that rolled through Northeast Mississippi led to substantial water damage in at least three Mississippi State University residence halls, university officials said Tuesday afternoon.
The most extensive damage was reported in Ruby Hall in Zacharias Village, on the north side of the campus. Ruby Hall, opened in 2005, housed some 412 students. The damage came from a ruptured fire suppression system water pipe on the third floor of the building’s “B” wing, which housed male students. About half of the Ruby “B” wing residents were student athletes.
Other residence halls impacted by water pipe ruptures in the fire suppression system included Oak Hall and Magnolia Hall, the two newest housing facilities on the MSU campus.
“The damage in all three residence halls was very substantial,” MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter said.
“We expect that as many as 450 of the 4,000 students MSU regularly houses in our residence hall system will be impacted by this event, and the university’s top priority is their safety,” said Salter. “The university has already implemented a comprehensive effort to secure the affected buildings and protect the property of our students.”
Power restored in Lee County
More than 3,000 Lee County residents and some businesses in Lee County without power last night and this morning have it restored.
Bill Long, general manager for Tombigbee Electric Power Association, said about 3,000 customers in the company’s service area including Mooreville, Eggville and the Auburn community with outages Monday night had power restored by 1:30 a.m. today.
Residents in areas including Plantersville and Guntown had outages this morning during a two-hour period, altogether impacting about 50 customers.
“They weren’t all out that long,” Long said. “Some had outages for a half-hour or so.”
Water main breaks
In Tupelo, Johnny Timmons with Tupelo Water & Light said a water main broke at 2 a.m. on South Green Street just south of South Closter Street, something attributed to unusually low temperatures.
“The pipe just snapped,” Timmons said.
Also in Tupelo, residents reported power outages scattered in the city, something Timmons described as “isolated” cases.
As frigid temperatures increase slightly tonight, fewer weather-related incidents are expected. However, Timmons said that late Wednesday and Thursday, as ice begins to thaw, some residents will have water leaks from busted pipes. He said residents who anticipate busted pipes can call TW&L to have their water temporarily turned off to prevent flooding or excessive water flow until repairs are made.
The temperature in Tupelo dipped to 7 degrees early Tuesday morning, which tied for the third-lowest temperature on this date, according to meteorologist Zach Maye of the National Weather Service in Memphis. The record low is minus-2 degrees, set in 1912.
The second-lowest temp on this day is 6 degrees (1942).
It also fell to 7 degrees on this date in 1970.
Myrtle High School’s basketball game against Ashland today has been moved up due to the weather. The girls game will begin at 5 p.m., with the boys to follow.