WEATHER UPDATES: Winter storm makes driving tough in some areas

By NEMS Daily Journal





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From MDOT
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) would like to announce a wintry weather update on roadway conditions for motorists traveling through the state.

As winter weather has passed through the state of Mississippi, icy precipitation has accumulated on roads and bridges in northern Mississippi. As of 7 p.m., accumulation that was reported earlier today in Marshall County has caused power outages in the area at Highway 72 and Cassey Road. Motorists are encouraged to drive with caution in DeSoto, Tunica, Coahoma, Benton, Marshall, Tate, Alcorn, Prentiss, Tippah, and Tishomingo Counties due to icy precipitation.

MDOT personnel are monitoring the weather and will take whatever measures are necessary to keep Mississippi roadways safe. Motorists are encouraged to buckle up for safety, drive safely, stay alert and slow down, especially when driving in wintry weather conditions. MDOT will keep motorists posted on road conditions as information becomes available.

For the most up-to-date information in your area, please visit www.mstraffic.com and sign up for traffic alerts. Also, visit http://www.mstraffic.com/mobile to get the latest traffic information from www.mstraffic.com on your mobile device.

UPDATE: 2:14 p.m. – From Daily Journal’s Lena Mitchell – Ralph Lauderdale, Prentiss County emergency management director, says the county initially had quite a number slick road conditions, but since the tempature has not fallen they are still passable. There is some icing on bridges and protected areas, but MDOT has already been out and salted and sanded bridges so highways are moving quite well.

Alcorn County Sheriff’s Office: Roads are slushy and a little slick, but still drivable.

Corinth city streets: Street Commissioner Jim Bynum said the city has the road grader out with snow attachment and trucks with snow plows attached trying to get the main buildup off the roads. However, he said if all water that’s on the streets freezes, there’s not enough sand anywhere to cover all the streets and bridges. So unless there’s an emergency, he advises everyone stay in. He also noted that ice is building up on tree limbs and they’ve been soaked for weeks, so
below-freezing temperatures overnight and Saturday could cause big problems with limbs and power lines.

Tippah County Sheriff’s Office: 1:45 p.m. Friday conditions are wet and slippery with a few icy spots, but the worry is there could be
possible refreezing later.

This morning’s winter storm has closed schools in Northeast Mississippi.

School closings

Itawamba Community College is dismissing at 2 p.m. today. The baseball banquet scheduled tonight a 6 p.m. is still on.

Tupelo Public schools will dismiss early today. 6th-12th grades dismiss at 1 p.m. Pre-K through 5 at 1:30 p.m. All events are cancelled through the weekend until further notice.

Monroe County schools closing at 12:30 p.m.

Booneville schools closing at 1:30 p.m.

Houston schools closing at 1:30 p.m.

Baldwyn schools are closing at 1:30 p.m.

Houlka schools closing at 1 p.m.

Nettleton Schools out at 1 p.m.

Itawamba County Schools closing at noon.

Pontotoc County schools closing at 1:30 p.m.

Lee County schools will close at 1 p.m.

Corinth Schools

Alcorn County Schools

Tishomingo County Schools

Marshall County

Prentiss County schools closing at Noon

New Albany schools are closing at 11 a.m.

Union County schools also closing at 11 a.m.

South Tippah schools are closed.

Lafayette County schools closing at 11 a.m.

The Oxford School District will dismiss students on the normal 60 percent day schedule. Bramlett and Oxford Elementary will dismiss at 11:45 and all other schools will dismiss at 12:05.

Ice has begun to accumulate on trees, powerlines and other objects in the Oxford area.Roads were still in good condition as of 10:30 a.m, but that could change if the temperature continues to drop.

Lafayette Schools dismissed at 10:30 a.m., and Oxford Schools are on a 60-percent schedule, which means all schools will dismiss no later than 12:05 p.m.

Oxford, Tupelo and Booneville campuses of the University of Mississippi will close at noon today, and classes scheduled at noon and later are canceled. Due to winter weather and icy conditions, the UM DeSoto campus is closed all day.

Blue Mountain College has closed.

Northeast Mississippi Community College has closed.

Rust College Evening Classes and Weekend Classes are now cancelled today, Jan. 29, due to the inclement weather conditions. Classes will resume Monday, Feb. 1 @ 8:00 a.m.

The basketball game between Rust and LaGrange College is still scheduled for tomorrow, Jan. 30, at 2 p.m. in the McMillan Multi-Purpose Complex.

Other closings:
Corinth Municipal Building (closes at 10am)

Health Departments in Alcorn, Marshall, Prentiss, Tate, Tishomingo, and Tippah closed

All BNA Bank Union County locations will close at 4:30 p.m. due to hazardous roadways.

Weekend Ford Center Events Rescheduled

Due to inclement weather, performances scheduled for this weekend at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts have changed.

The performance by the American Spiritual Ensemble slated for 8 p.m. tonight has been rescheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 31). All tickets for tonight’s concert will be honored at Sunday’s performance.

The Saturday performance of “Raggs LIVE Dance Party!” has been canceled. Tickets will be refunded.

For questions regarding tickets to either show, contact the UM Box Office at 662-915-7411 during regular business hours, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays.

Sports Cancellations
In general, anywhere that school has been called off, you can safely assume those schools will also have to postpone any scheduled basketball games.

- Saturday’s Arkansas at Ole Miss men’s hoops game has been rescheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m. at Tad Smith Coliseum.

- Blue Mountain College has postponed a basketball doubleheader with Lyon College, originally scheduled for Saturday, to Monday at 6 p.m.
- At Northeast Mississippi Community College, a softball camp originally set for Saturday has been postponed until Sunday. The skills camp starts at 1:30 p.m., the hitting camp at 3:30 p.m.
- The completion of the annual five-county junior high basketball tournament at Northeast will be delayed. The four semifinal games originally slated for Friday night will be played Monday and the championship games will be played on Wednesday.

For road conditions, the following numbers are available.

Mississippi Road Conditions: 888-728-4218
Alabama Road Conditions: 888-588-2848
Tennessee Road Conditions: 800-342-3258

10:25 a.m.: Weather Update:

TUPELO – A wintery mix is expected to cover the area for the next couple of days.
According to the National Weather Service in Memphis, at least a quarter inch of ice is expected to accumulate in the area over the next few hours. And an additional one to three inches of snow fall is expected to touch down tonight.
The NWS said because of freezing temperatures for most of Saturday, it may be until Sunday or Monday before the ice melts.
No major accidents have been reported in Tupelo or Lee County so far today.

To report a school closing or send in a weather photo please email todd.vinyard@djournal.com.