Winter storm, wicked wind chills heading for state

By SPECIAL TO THE SUN-SENTINEL,

PEARL — The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is encouraging the public prepare for a winter storm set to enter the state Monday evening through Tuesday and near zero wind chills.

The National Weather Service expects for snow to begin as early as 6 p.m. in northwest Mississippi and move southeast. Snow of 1-3 inches is forecast for the delta and northern parts of the state, with lesser amounts for central and southern areas.  The greater concern is for the arctic temperatures and near zero wind chills that will last from Tuesday into Thursday.

“This extended period of freezing temperatures and wicked wind chills have us concerned for people that lack the resources for properly heating their homes,” said MEMA Director Lee Smithson. “We cannot stress enough that you look out for your family and friends.”

Whatever frozen precipitation falls will stick around due to the below freezing temperatures that will be around for an extended period.  Exposed pipes will be extremely susceptible to failing so please take proper steps to protect them.

Things to remember:

• Travel only if absolutely necessary when the wintry precipitation starts and use extreme caution.  For the latest on road conditions visit the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s traffic center at www.mdottraffic.com or call 5-1-1.

• Go through the four P’s checklist:
1) People - Make sure everyone is safe and as warm as possible.
2) Pets - Bring them indoors.
3) Pipes - Wrap and insulate any exposed pipes, let indoor faucets drip to prevent damage.
4) Plants - Protect any important plants you have by covering or bringing indoors.

The State Emergency Operations Center is prepared to provide any resources requested by counties during this event.

For detailed preparedness information, contact your county emergency management agency, download the MEMA Mobile app using “Mississippi EMA” or go to MEMA’s website at www.msema.org.

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