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‘Everything is iced over’: Road conditions continue to be dangerous

Local streets and roads remained treacherous as Warren County shivered through the fourth day of extreme cold weather.

“It’s very dangerous,” Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said. “Everything is iced over.”

He said Interstate 20 westbound was closed at the Mississippi River bridge because of black ice and 18-wheelers in the road.

“The roads are just as bad or worse than they were yesterday because there is a layer of freezing rain on top of the already icy roads,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said. “There are also downed trees and broken limbs throughout the county.”

Vicksburg Police Chief Milton Moore said two city streets were blocked: Halls Ferry Road at Hawkins where a fallen tree with power lines was down blocking the road, and Cherry Street between Belmont and Arthur where a car knocked down a utility pole Wednesday night.

“Halls Ferry at Hawkins is impassable,” he said. “We’ve had people try to go through the church (parking lot) but they get stuck,” he said.

Moore said the city’s streets on hills were blocked because of ice and westbound traffic on I-20 was at a crawl because of black ice at the Washington Street exit.

“We haven’t many wrecks; about a dozen or so,” he said. “So far there have been no serious injuries and we’ve had car go off the road.”

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said streets in some areas of town were beginning to thaw, but said motorists should exercise caution.

“If you see a street with an incline be careful, because they will have ice on then. The best thing is to do what we’ve been telling them to do. Stay inside.”

Warren County is under a winter weather advisory until 3 p.m. today, according to information from the National Weather Service.

“We’re not expecting additional amounts (of freezing rain and sleet) like yesterday or what we got from the Sunday-Monday event, but we’re seeing freezing conditions with an icy glaze and slick roads across the state and downed trees and power lines,” said Mike Edmonston, senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Jackson.

He said weather radar shows freezing drizzle, adding the freezing precipitation is expected to move south into Central Mississippi before moving out of the area.

The temperature is expected to reach a high of up to 34 degrees Thursday then drop to the lower 20s. Friday’s high is expected to be in the mid-30s before dropping back below freezing.

The high Saturday is expected to be in the upper 40s with lows in the near 30s. Sunday will be mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50s and a low in the upper 30s with a chance of rain.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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