Gov. Bryant declares winter weather emergency and officials monitoring conditions

From staff and press reports

Gov. Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency for Winston County, along with 57 others.

“This winter weather may cause damage to homes, businesses, public property and threaten the safety of the citizens and property throughout the State of Mississippi,” the proclamation, released late Monday night, stated.

The proclamation puts into effect the steps outlined in the state’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.

The other counties included: Alcorn, Attala, Benton, Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Coahoma, Desoto, George, Greene, Grenada, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Itawamba, Jackson, Jones, Lafayette, Lawrence, Leake, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Madison, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pearl River, Perry, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Rankin, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Tunica, Union, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Yalobusha and Yazoo.

“In consideration of the health and safety of the residents and the protection of their property within the affected areas, and in the public interest, all steps should be taken to protect people and property,” states the governor’s proclamation.

Several trees were reported downed in the county and the weather may have contributed to several car accidents in the county. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency along with state and local officials were asking all residents to prepare for continued sever weather through 6 a.m. Wednesday.

This State of Emergency is an administrative tool which allows state resources to be used to support counties and local governments prepare for and respond to this ongoing weather event.

“I have been in regular contact with Gov. Bryant since Sunday regarding this weather event,” said MEMA Director Robert Latham. “We’re prepared to respond and support any of our counties should they request state assistance. I appreciate him issuing the State of Emergency which will allow us to react quickly if our help is needed.”

The National Weather Service has issued the following advisories, watches and warnings which are subject to change due to developing weather conditions:

For Winston County a Flash Flood Watch and Ice Storm Warning were issued.

Motorists should expect icy conditions and remember to use extreme caution on roads and overpasses if they are traveling in areas experiencing winter weather, as slick or icy spots are developing.

Ice accumulation could also bring down trees and power lines. If you encounter any downed power lines, always treat them as if they are live, and report them to your power company or call 9-1-1.

Residents are also encouraged to check on elderly and at-risk neighbors and relatives due to the increased potential for power outages and temperatures dropping well below freezing. Make sure they have a safe, warm place to stay while the conditions remain cold and hazardous.

In addition to the threat of winter weather, heavy rain and thunderstorms are moving through the state causing local flooding of already swollen creeks and rivers. Residents should never drive through flooded roadways and look for an alternate route. The public is encouraged to follow MEMA on Twitter and Facebook for updates.