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Freeze warning in effect tonight

Pollen may be blowing on the breeze, but spring is definitely not here yet. A blast of cold air was expected to drop temperatures down to the mid-20s overnight and into Tuesday morning.

The National Weather Service in Jackson issued a freeze warning that will be in effect until 10 a.m. Tuesday. Sub-zero temps likely will damage early budding and blooming plants and trees.

The high Tuesday is expected to reach 48 but Tuesday night will be cold again, with lows near 25. Another hard freeze is expected Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. With temps below 28 for several hours, blooming and budding vegetation will again be at risk. Much of the state will experience freezing temperatures this week.

Safety officials are advising that locals bundle up if going outside and make sure pipes are protected. Also, make sure pets have a warm place to sleep.

The National Fire Protection Association offers the following tips for heating your home safely.

• Keep anything that can burn at least 3 three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.
• Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
• Never use your oven to heat your home.
• Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
• Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
• Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
• Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

Cold isn’t the only thing locals will have to deal with. Heavy rains have left creeks and rivers swollen, with the Pearl River at Monticello at flood stage. A flood warning continues there until Wednesday evening. On Monday, the river was down to 24.1 feet. Minor flooding occurs at 22 feet.