Salvation Army serving hot meals as power outages could last days

COVID-19 vaccinations canceled in town, at Tribe

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A local state of emergency was declared by the Neshoba County Board of Supervisors on Thursday in wake of a massive winter storm that shut the county for days as they seek an emergency declaration from the Governor.

About 70% of unincorporated Neshoba County remained without power Thursday night with lows expected to be in the 20s. Central Water has asked members to conserve water. Area schools will be closed on Friday and many businesses have remained shuttered. The power outages could last days, according to estimations.

For those without power, the Salvation Army will be at the Neshoba Coliseum at 4:30 p.m. serving hot meals, state Sen. Jenifer Branning announced Friday morning.

They will be able to serve 300 to 400 people. Hot meals, water, coffee, hot chocolate, pastries, and fruit will be provided, she said.

Philadelphia Police reported numerous traffic incidents caused by the weather as did MHP and the Sheriff's Office. Mississippi 16 and Mississippi 21 were closed at one point but reopened.

Area schools are closed again on Friday as well as Tribal government. The Neshoba County  Courthouse will be open and providing warming rooms, officials said. There was no announcement from Philadelphia City Hall as of Thursday evening.

Temperatures are expected to get above freezing about noon on Friday, but officials are urging an abundance of caution and only when travel is necess\sary.

“We encourage everyone to check on their family, friends and neighbors during these extremely cold temperatures,” said County Administrator Jeff Mayo.

“Please practice generator safety if using a generator and don’t touch downed power lines.”

Mayo said that various county buildings experienced broken water pipes or equipment failure and the magnolias outside the courthouse received some damage but there was nothing more extensive.

“We suffered a generator malfunction at the Coliseum and a broken water pipe at the Courthouse,” Mayo said. “The historic magnolias also suffered some damage due to the winter precipitation.”

Due to no facility power and low water pressure at the Coliseum the state Department of Health notified the county they will not be giving vaccinations Friday, Feb. 19, at the Coliseum.

Choctaw Health Center also announced the cancellation of vaccines on Friday.

Mayo said that anyone with structural damage to their home or business due to winter precipitation this week should report damage via the County website or direct report. at this link.

The Neshoba County Road Department is working to clear roads and pushing the debris back to the right-of-way, Mayo said Thursday.

“Getting all of the roads open and passable is the primary concern currently and debris will be removed from the right-of-way at a later date,” Mayo said. “Some roads have trees with power lines involved and as soon as it is safe to remove them from the roadway, they will be pushed back to the right-of-way.”

The Neshoba County Courthouse and other county offices will resume normal operations Friday.

Mayo said the main and small courtrooms will be open during normal business hours from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. to anyone needing to warm up or charge their cell phone but social distancing and a facemask is required, he said.

On Thursday, North East Mississippi Electric Power Association Crews were leaving Oxford and on the way to Newton and Neshoba counties to assist with power restoration.

Neshoba County Justice Court announced that all court cases scheduled for Monday, February 22, 2021, have been canceled and a new date will be scheduled soon as possible.


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