North Mississippi prepares for snow; Gov. Barbour declares emergency

By Chip Washington - bio | email

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - Officials in DeSoto County met with the National Weather Service Wednesday to plan and prepare for possible snow as Gov. Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency.

In North Mississippi, crews spent Wednesday prepping area roads with a coating solution designed to prevent the build-up of ice.

DeSoto County EMA Director Bobby Storey said people should exercise caution and patience, especially if they get stuck along the highway.

"If they're with their vehicle and they make a phone call -a cell phone call or their family calls - in we'll come to you and get you out of harms way," Storey said.

Storey said motorists should dress in layers and take along an extra blanket in case of a breakdown.

Meanwhile, Gov. Haley Barbour declared a state of emergency due to the cold weather.

Barbour's announcement came the same day authorities confirmed that a man in Lauderdale County died of hypothermia, Mississippi's first death linked to the weather.

Barbour said "extreme and prolonged subfreezing temperatures" could lead to shortages for heating fuels and increase fire risks as people try to stay warm.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Ariel Cohen said temperatures could dip as low as single digits in parts of the state by the weekend.

There are also threats of snow, sleet and freezing rain as early as Wednesday night and Thursday in northern and central Mississippi.
Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.  The AP contributed to this story.