Gov. Phil Bryant has declared a State of Emergency in preparation for coming severe weather across portions of Mississippi. Northern portions of the state could see winter weather conditions including ice and winter precipitation. Additional portions of the state could see heavy rains and thunderstorms, which could cause flooding in some locations.
The National Weather Service says the forecast for Coahoma, Desoto and Tunica Counties calls for up to fourth tenths an inch of ice and up to two tenths inch of sleet and in Benton Marshall, Panola, Tate, Tallahatchie and Quitman Counties up to two tenths inch of ice and sleet.
A State of Emergency declaration is an administrative tool that allows state officials to position and deploy resources to assist areas that are impacted by an emergency.
"I have declared a State of Emergency to aid emergency officials in preparing for the onset of this potentially dangerous weather," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "Residents should not overreact but should make plans now to ensure they are prepared for a variety of conditions, including prolonged freezing temperatures, icy roadways, heavy rains and potential flooding.
"Residents in areas affected by winter weather should not drive unless necessary, as road conditions may become hazardous. I am working closely with MEMA, MDOT, the Department of Public Safety and other state agencies to monitor the situation, and we will issue updates as necessary."
Residents should prepare for the possibility of power outages, problems with pipes that are not fully insulated or at risk of bursting and very dangerous driving conditions.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation is monitoring road conditions and will issue traffic alerts for roadways and bridges that experience icing conditions. Residents may also dial 5-1-1 for information on road conditions.