Winter storm closes even Walmart


Nearly half of Neshoba County’s rural electric customers remained without power Tuesday as a major winter storm pressed down with record low temperatures and more precipitation forecast.

Nearly 4,000 Central Electric customers were without power Tuesday across the seven-county service area with a majority of those outages in Neshoba.

Schools, public buildings and most businesses, including Walmart, remained closed Tuesday as a layer of mixed precipitation and ice pelted the region. 

Williams Brothers was open on Tuesday, however. The store announced on Facebook they were going to be open from 10 a.m.. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

Main Street at Lewis Avenue was closed at about noon on Tuesday and residents were still being warned to stay home as another round of winter weather was expected Thursday and Friday.

Highway 21 south was reported impassible from the bypass to Mississippi 488. Also, the area near Neshoba County Fairgrounds Gate 1 was extremely treacherous with multiple cars off of the roadway, officials said.

Neshoba County Sheriff Eric Clark estimated half the county was without power Tuesday and said his office was trying to keep up with an influx of welfare checks brought on by the freezing temperatures. 

Residents should not travel unless it is absolutely necessary, Clark said, and he urged people to check on loved ones and neighbors.

No weather-related deaths had been reported Tuesday, Clark said.

His department did assist a couple in moving in with some family members for the duration of the extreme conditions so they would not freeze to death.

Most of his staff is on call and working rotation to fulfill every welfare check and make sure law enforcement situation are covered in the event of an emergency.

A number of people are volunteering and Clark has been working to find ways they can help.

Traffic seemed to be significantly diminished on Tuesday, Clark said, with most vehicles being emergency responders and utility company personnel.

There have been multiple calls of cars that have slid off of the road. 

Philadelphia Police Detective Bobby Pattillo said things have been quiet aside from issues related to the snow and ice. PPD has also warned people to avoid the roadways while they are iced over.

Central Electric’s outage tracker estimates about 4,183 customers were out of power as of noon Tuesday. They reflect dense outages clustered east and south of Philadelphia and extending south of Union. 

The overnight low in Philadelphia on Monday was 12 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS described the snowfall as a “dusting” but noted the ice accumulation on the ground and roadways is significant. 

The previous record low was 16 degrees on Feb. 16, 1950, according to the NWS.

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