Snowfall not as bad as predicted

Published 5:42 pm Monday, February 15, 2010

The fierce wintry storm that was predicted turned out to be justa few inches of snow after all, with Saturday’s weather coming inwarmer and sunnier than weather experts expected.

Area emergency and electrical officials said they felt lucky thatthe freeze that was expected between Friday and Saturday nightnever became a reality.

“We did pretty good, the roads didn’t freeze over and get as bad asthey thought they would,” said Copiah County Emergency OperationsCoordinator Randle Drane. “But the slushy mess is here while allthis stuff is melting off.”

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Drane said there were just a few tree calls and some cars that slidoff the road, but mostly the only problem lay in a few poweroutages on Friday.

Lincoln, Franklin and Lawrence county officials said they wereaware of no major problems based on the weather in their countieseither.

“Everything went just fine, we made it fine,” said Franklin CountyEmergency Operations Coordinator Mark Thornton. “Everything turnedout great.”

Drane explained that the weather has been colder this year, andreferenced the Farmer’s Almanac, which predicted a colder winterthis year.

“I’m no meteorologist, but the cold blasts coming down from Canadaand the warm blasts coming up from the Gulf, they’re meeting andthat’s why we’re getting all this snow,” he said. “But if peoplereally want to know what the weather’s going to be, they just needto go to the Farmer’s Almanac.”

Meanwhile, both he and Thornton predicted that southern Mississippimight not have seen the end of winter just yet. But it won’t be onSunday evening, like some northern areas of the state are supposedto see.

“It may snow up in north Mississippi, but they’re just expecting usto get rain,” Drane said. “In my opinion I imagine we probably willhave another snow before spring.”

Thornton agreed.

“We’re probably going to have some more before it’s over with,” hesaid.

Drane said that even though there was a good amount of snow overthe last few days and he has fielded the question several times, hedoes not foresee Copiah County investing in any snowplows any timesoon.

“No,” he said with a laugh. “We live in the south.”

Meanwhile, area power company executives said they are fairlypleased with the fact that the weather did not worsen likepredicted. While Southwest Mississippi and Magnolia EPAs both hadoutages caused by the weather Friday night, both they and Entergyreported no notable problems beyond that.

“Just what was yesterday. We didn’t have anything in addition towhat was left over,” said Southwest Public Relations DirectorAzalea Knight on Saturday. “We still had a few meters out thismorning in Brookhaven area, but when I left the office, everythingwas predicted to be finished by 1 p.m.”

Magnolia EPA Member Services Director Lucy Shell said their outageswere corrected by Friday at 2:45 p.m.

“We felt very fortunate,” she said.

Entergy crews had no problems to work on locally, said CustomerAccounts Manager Kenny Goza, but they did end up being deployed tohelp on outages in Clinton and Vicksburg.