Icy Weather Woes

Published 7:00 pm Friday, February 4, 2011

Icy conditions in Lincoln County will persist through Fridaynight and into Saturday morning before temperatures warm up overthe weekend, but more icy weather – and possibly snow – could blowin next week.

Daniel Lamb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Servicein Jackson, said temperatures across Southwest Mississippi wouldwarm throughout Friday but plunge back below freezing Friday night,creating more slick roads over the night and early Saturday.Temperatures in Jackson, McComb and Natchez were already risingpast the freezing point at 9 a.m. Friday, but are expected to reachdown into the 20s Friday night, he said.

“The rain will probably taper off late this afternoon, but we doexpect it to drop into the middle 20s tonight. Any leftovermoisture on the roads could turn into ice overnight, so there couldbe some issues with a few slick spots (Saturday) morning,” Lambsaid.

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Lamb said temperatures would rise into the 40s and drive awaythe remaining ice Saturday, but the reprieve may be temporary. Hesaid the temperature could drop again next week and frozenprecipitation in some form is possible.

“We do have a chance of snow in the forecast for late Wednesdayand into Thursday, but the chances are pretty low. That’s six andone-half to seven days out,” Lamb said. “It’s something to keep aneye on and be prepared, but it’s not time to run to the grocerystore and buy up the bread and milk.”

Fortunately for Lincoln County, this week’s winter blast was notas severe as the last.

Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey said noroads were closed and no structures received damage Thursday andFriday, and the roads – while slick in places – are drivable ifcaution is used.

County and city schools and Brookhaven Academy were closedFriday, but should reopen Monday, he said.

“People just need to be aware and act accordingly,” Galeysaid.

Power outages in Lincoln County were few.

Magnolia Electric Member Services Director Lucy Shell said hercompany had 30 outages in the East Lincoln area, most of which wererestored before 8 a.m. Friday. There were 553 outages – mostlyaround Pike and Franklin counties – at peak time, with only 59still without power by 8:45 a.m. Friday.

“We feel real fortunate. Things could have been a lot worse,”she said.

Southwest Electric Power Association spokesman Azalea Knightsaid her company had outages in Adams, Franklin and Wilkinsoncounties, but none in Lincoln County. Entergy Customer AccountsManager Kenny Goza said his company experienced no outages.

“Thank the Lord,” he said.