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Emergency official: 1-3 inches of snow expected; local schools closed Tuesday

Snow is coming, according to the National Weather Service’s forecast. Rain will change to snow as a sharp cold front moves across the region late Monday evening into early Tuesday morning.

The Brookhaven School District, Lincoln County School District, Lawrence County School District and Copiah County School District have cancelled classes Tuesday. Brookhaven Academy and Copiah-Lincoln Community College will be closed Tuesday also. Classes at Mississippi School of the Arts will begin at 10 a.m.

Snow accumulations are expected and travel could become hazardous throughout the region. In addition, the rapid drop in temperatures could cause residual moisture to freeze on some roadways. Wind chills in the teens to lower 20s are expected through Tuesday morning.

Lincoln County is in the NWS’s “elevated threat” area, meaning snow accumulation is likely. Snowfall of 1-3 inches is expected. Roads will become snow-covered, causing hazardous driving conditions, NWS said.

Lincoln County can expect snowfall from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m Tuesday. The area will be under a winter weather advisory from 2 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesday. Copiah County is included in a winter storm warning from midnight until 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey said said weather officials are saying between 1 and 3 inches of snow and maybe some flash freezing before daylight.

“Water, snow, the rain, whatever we may have — it’s going to get down well below freezing right around then. Whatever is there is going to freeze on the road to the bridges,” he said.

“I’m concerned about how long it’s going to stay freezing tomorrow before it may thaw out. It may not get above freezing before 10 o’clock tomorrow,” he said.

Travel may not be safe until a while after it thaws.

MDOT offers these driving tips:

• Remember, ice will form on bridges and overpasses quicker than the road.

• Slow down; should winter weather conditions become present, “black ice” can form.

• Allow more space between the vehicle in front of you.

• Brake early and gently to avoid skidding, and never slam on the brakes.

• Avoid distractions, such as talking or texting on a cell phone.

• Stay alert.

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reminds all Mississippi residents to take proper precautions as winter weather moves across the state tonight and tomorrow.

If the power goes out unexpectedly, there are several food and water safety tips to follow to ensure what you eat and drink is safe for consumption:

  • If power is out for less than two hours, food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to eat. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold longer.
  • After two hours, a freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours.
  • After two hours, pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
  • Safe water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene includes bottled, boiled, or treated water. Watch for specific boil water alerts in your area.
  • Boiling water, when practical, is the preferred way to kill harmful bacteria and parasites. Bringing water to a rolling boil for 1 minute will kill most organisms.

Also, cold weather brings people indoors seeking warmth. Any heater that burns fuel, such as your furnace, generator, gas water heater or a portable butane or gas heater, produces carbon monoxide that can leak into the air. Mild exposure to carbon monoxide can cause nausea, dizziness or headaches. Severe poisoning can result in brain or heart damage, or even death.

To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, take the following precautions:

  • Never burn anything in a stove or fireplace that is not vented properly.
  • Never heat your house with a gas oven.
  • Never run a generator indoors, in an enclosed space such as a basement, or near a window.
  • Do not warm your car up in a closed garage.
  • If your garage is attached to your house, close the door to the house while you warm up the car.