Cold conditions could mean snow, slick roads

Published 7:00 am Friday, December 8, 2017

A winter storm is expected to arrive in Pearl River County Friday morning, bringing the possibility of snow and sleet to before freezing conditions arrive on Saturday.

Representatives with two school districts within Pearl River County have indicated that classes will be cancelled Friday, Dec. 8 due to the inclement weather.

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Poplarville and Pearl River County School Districts were closed due to forecasts of sleet and or snow expected to arrive Friday morning.

Picayune School District Superintendent Dean Shaw said he would wait until about 5 a.m. Friday morning to make the determination whether to cancel classes. He said if classes were cancelled, he would alert families via local media outlets and through phone calls to parents.

Classes at Pearl River Community College were delayed until noon.

Those decisions came after the National Weather Service announced that sleet and or snow was forecast to arrive in South Mississippi early Friday morning between 3 and 5 and could last until noon.

While the weather was expected to bring about an inch or two of sleet or snow, the National Weather Service predicts the precipitation would not stick to roadways during the day Friday, but they did advise affected residents to keep an eye on ever changing forecasts.

As of Thursday afternoon, the forecast predicted the danger of slick spots forming on bridges, elevated roads and in some areas of flat surfaces where water pools.

A mid to hard freeze is forecast for Friday night and Saturday morning. If the roads do not dry up during the day Friday, there is an increased chance of roads and bridges freezing Saturday morning. Temperatures are forecast to be in the upper to mid 20s Saturday morning.

Picayune Assistant Fire Chief Barry Lee advises all Pearl River County residents to stay home during the freezing conditions if they can.

Pearl River County Emergency Management Director Danny Manley said the storm is unpredictable, so he recommended all non-essential employees to stay off the roadways until noon Friday if at all possible due to the possibility of slick roads.

City and county personnel are prepared to take precautions Friday evening to ensure the roads are as safe as possible when the worst conditions were forecast.

City and County offices are expected to be open Friday.

Picayune Police Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said extra officers will be on call Friday and Saturday and Public Works Director Eric Morris said his crews are prepared to salt and sand the roads, especially the four major bridges in town, as an extra precaution. Preparations to the bridges will take place Friday evening, after an update on the weather is released by the National Weather Service.