BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - There may be icicles forming in gutters this morning but that appears to be the only ice covering most of South Mississippi. Law enforcement agencies across the Coast say there have been no problems on area roads.
However, icy roads are a major concern throughout the rest of the Magnolia State. Mississippi Highway Patrol says they responded to 134 crashes on Friday alone due to the rain and icy roads. They also responded to 296 calls for assistance on highways throughout the state. Because of the weather, MHP advises motorists to use safe driving techniques and avoid distractions when operating motor vehicles.
MDOT says roadways throughout much Mississippi remain frozen and unsafe, especially in the Jackson metro area. They advise anyone traveling this weekend to follow some basic winter weather driving tips, including:
- buckle up for safety;
- slow down, especially when driving in winter weather conditions;
- allow more space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you;
- brake early to allow plenty of time to stop;
- brake gently to avoid skidding and never slam on the brakes;
- turn on lights to be more visible to other motorists;
- do not use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads;
- stay alert and look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do.
Flight cancellations also created some travel headaches at Gulfport Biloxi International Airport. Morning flights to Charlotte and Atlanta won't take off today, and a flight to Dallas is at least three hours behind schedule.
One overnight power outage near D'Iberville impacted nearly 1,000 homes. Those people were without electricity and without heat between 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Temperatures fell into the mid-20s overnight with the windchill factor at a brisk nine degrees. WLOX First Alert meteorologist Eric Jeansonne says the thermometer may not reach 40 degrees today. Consequently, cold weather shelters in all three coast counties will open again tonight, giving people a place to stay warm.