South Mississippi Braces For Freeze - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/06/02

South Mississippi Braces For Freeze

Friday night's freeze means pulling plants inside, checking the supply of firewood and bundling up.

South Mississippi is bracing for what could be the coldest night of the year.

"I would have liked to have had my long johns on this morning," said Ray Stevenson as he worked his shovel along the Bayview Avenue road project.

The construction crew from Warren Paving stayed warm as long as they kept moving. They definitely dressed for winter. Working along Bayview Avenue means facing the chilly wind off back bay.

"Well, we were directing traffic earlier and it was a little cold 'cause you got to stand in one spot. But when we started this part of the project with the shovel and the gravel you get warmed up, yes. I'm sweating right now," said Stevenson.

The forecast freeze was big news at the corner of Pass Road and Pine Street. That's where the firewood vendors gather each winter.

"We've been here since the 80's. Me and my brothers. You'll see one or the other of us all the time," explained Hollis Smith from Stone County.

Business heats up when the temperatures start falling. Oak logs that filled pick up trucks in the afternoon are somebody's cozy fire by nightfall.

Vendors will keep busy on the vacant lot, provided the cold sticks around.

"He sold a lot of wood, this feller. And he done sold some over there. And I'm looking to sell this good wood right here. Home grown wood," said Smith.

Protecting the plants is high on the hard freeze checklist. We found blankets over the blooms at Griebel's Nursery. Tender blossoms like the camellias need cover. More hardy plants will tolerate the cold temperatures.

Rick Bradley helps manage the nursery on Pass Road.

"Most of your regular plants down here are going to live outside, your annual colors like pansies and snapdragons. They should take temperatures into the 20's. But if it's a tropical and you want to keep it, you should protect it, cover it, bring it in," he cautioned.

By Steve Phillips

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