The National Weather Service predicts rain, freezing rain, sleet and ice accumulation as temperatures drop to near or below freezing throughout much of the northern and central parts of the state, which will include Bolivar County.
"In the afternoon somewhere around 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. it's going to continue to rain and we are going to have slick roads," said Emergency Management Director Bill Quinton.
The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning for DeSoto and Tunica counties, forecasting up to one half inch of ice from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Friday.
A winter storm watch has been issued for Bolivar, Grenada, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Sharkey, Sunflower and Washington counties, with the possibility of ice accumulation up to one-quarter inch.
The state could see several waves of winter weather over the next five days.
According to Quinton he does not anticipate freezing power lines or trees but the EMA is prepared if conditions worsen and he ensures that he will keep citizens posted.
"We will be working and keeping people posted about the conditions. I have a Facebook and I will post weather updates as I receive them. I will also remain in contact with county officials, the hospital and several law enforcement agencies so that they can relay information to citizens," Quinton said.
He advises individuals who are not accustomed to driving in icy conditions to stock up on necessities and stay indoor.
"If you don’t need to be out then don’t be out. A lot of accidents happen when people are out just sight seeing," he said.
He said that often there is black ice on the roads and it is not visible but very dangerous.
"People who do not normally drive in icy conditions do not understand the defensive mechanisms needed to actually drive on the road," he said.
"Everybody normally drives carefully on bridges and underpasses. The more traffic on the road is better because it heats the road and melts the ice but most people in Mississippi are not use to driving in on icy roads and it can be hazardous," he added.
Quinton said that in the past, individuals did not take freezing temperatures and icy conditions seriously until after the ice storm that occurred in 1994.
Currently, he does not expect weather conditions to be as bad as they were in 1994 but if it does, he and his volunteers are prepared.
"We probably over prepare now but in the past we use to just take things for granted," he added.
Quinton also said that it would be nearly impossible to prepare for conditions such as this without the help of his volunteers.
"Bolivar County is very fortunate to have the type of volunteers that they have. The county saves millions of dollars because of the work that the volunteers do and it would be impossible for me to be effective at my job without their help," he said.
"A lot of time I get the credit but the credit really needs to go to the volunteers. Volunteers are the backbone of this agency. When we have a situation like we had in 1994, you are not only going to have emergency personnel – it is very important that all groups come together," added Quinton added.
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