Hancock County leaders gear up for hard freeze

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Hancock County leaders began formulating their hard freeze preparations early this morning. Preparing for icy roads and bridges were at the top of their lists.

Work crews were kept busy getting ready for old man winters fury. Diamondhead city work crews wasted no time preparing for the hard freeze. Barricades were put together and left on the on-and-off ramps in case they are needed.

"Obviously Friday night was a heck of a test for Diamondhead on the interstate," said Diamondhead Mayor Tommy Schafer.

"We had wrecks. We had people sitting on the interstate for a long period of time. Traffic was backed up. People that were upset, angry, scared, nervous."

Diamondhead police patrol part of Interstate 10 from the Harrison-Hancock County line to the Jourdan River Bridge.

"If there is ice on the bridge, we're going to have to have four sides instead of just one side shutdown," said Diamondhead Police Chief Al Herman.

"We're going to be better prepared this time," said Schafer.

That seemed to be the sentiment of leaders throughout the Hancock County. Public and private schools in the County closed the doors for the next two days.

"It's going to be a slippery slid situation and we don't want our kids and our adults out there in it," said Donnie Gholston, Assistant Superintendent of Hancock County Schools.

County Supervisors had 75 tons of sand hauled in from Louisiana for icy roads and bridges in Hancock County. Information from the National Weather Service in Slidell helped Hancock County EOC leaders make decisions needed to protect people and property during the freezing temperatures.

"We're looking at a long duration hard freeze here. At least below freezing temperatures that could last 48 to 60 hours," said a representative from the National Weather Service.

Hancock County EMA Director Brian Adam asked the Weather Service, "We're not expecting anything tonight just by day break in the morning correct?"

The Weather Service responded, "That's the current thinking."

Emergency officials know, with the weather, things can change rapidly.

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