Monday updates: Historic snowfall in Mid-South

Monday is a First Alert Weather Day

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A President’s Day storm delivered several inches of sleet and snow in the Memphis area with higher accumulations in surrounding communities. The latest updates from the WMC Action News 5 newsroom:

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9 p.m.: The Office of Emergency Management reports the Hollywood Community Center and Ruth Tate Senior Center have 110 residents. For transportation to a warning center, call the Office of Emergency Management at (901) 297-1680. Public Works crews will continue operating salt/sand trucks for at least the next 72 hours, according to the City of Memphis. The city is contracting for six additional snowplows, bringing the total to 14 along with 16 sand trucks and six brine units.

7:34 p.m.: TDOT has activated a 24-hour maintenance staff to monitor and treat roads. TEMA reports 16,000 customers without power statewide.

6:36 p.m.: Memphis International Airport remains open and crews continue to clear runways and taxiways. Most passenger flights ended for the day but FedEx flights continue. Passengers should check with airlines for up-to-date information about flight schedules. Check flights here.

6:20 p.m.: Collierville trash pickup is paused until further notice. Germantown’s Tuesday service is suspended and the rest of the week is to be determined.

6:07 p.m.: City of Memphis announces the following closures Tuesday -- Memphis Parks, Memphis Animal Shelter, Libraries, Community Centers (excluding warming center), Code Enforcement, Permits Office, City Treasury, 311 and 211. Solid Waste pickup is suspended.

5:58 p.m.: MATA will suspend all service at 8 p.m. Monday night because of worsening conditions. The decision covers all modes of MATA travel -- including bus, trolley and MATAPlus service. Most routes are expected to resume Tuesday -- except for the Main Street Trolley and Route 6 in Northaven. However, additional service delays are possible.

5:29 p.m.: THP gave an update on road conditions in the Memphis ara. County roads remain ice and snow covered across most of west Tennessee.

4:55 p.m.: Most City of Memphis road crews will stay on the job until 11 p.m. Monday, with a smaller contingent working overnight, according to Public Works Director Robert Knecht. Employees with a commercial drivers license who operate large equipment are limited to working no more than 16 hours in a day. Knecht says snow-clearing operations with full staff will resume Tuesday morning. The city has said eight snow plows, 16 salt and sand trucks, and six brine units are available for “Snow and Ice Operations” on city streets.

4:24 p.m.: Entergy Arkansas is asking customers to conserve electricity between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday to avoid the chance of outages. The reliability coordinator that monitors the regional grid is asking Entergy and other power companies to curb usage as power demand could hit an all-time peak -- even surpassing the polar vortex cold of January 2019.

4:17 p.m.: The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office is experiencing an outage with its 911 lines, according to a text message alert sent to residents. DSCO says people can still call 662-469-8027 to get emergency assistance.

***911 EMERGENCY LINE*** ****PLEASE SHARE**** Our 9-1-1 Emergency System is currently down. Please do not panic. If...

Posted by DeSoto County Sheriff's Department on Monday, February 15, 2021

3:41 p.m.: The Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office has parked its two-wheel drive patrol cars because of the slick and snowy road conditions. Sgt. Jimmy Carpenter with the sheriff’s office tells WMC Action News 5 they are making arrangements for day shift and night shift deputies to only drive the department’s four-wheel drive vehicles. Local wrecker services also reported problems getting out of their yards. Sgt. Carpenter advised people who are heading out to make sure they have a full tank of fuel and a cellphone to call for help if they become stranded.

3:03 p.m.: Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is thanking most people for heeding city’s advice and staying home. “Hardly anybody is on the roads,” he said in an interview with WMC Action News 5. The city has also been working to assist people who are homeless, providing a “plethora” of options for people to take shelter, Strickland said. In addition to working with non-profit partners, the city is operating two warming centers and even renting hotel rooms for Memphians.

Strickland also indicted city recycling service could be resuming in the coming weeks, as Solid Waste Department employees recover from cases of COVID-19. It’s the first time the city has hinted at a timeline to restart recycling.

2:27 p.m.: Our Jonesboro sister station reports the Arkansas National Guard is assisting Arkansas State Police with rescues.

1:46 p.m.: DeSoto County offices will be closed Tuesday for inclement weather.

1:10 p.m.: An SUV drove into a pond at Memorial Park Cemetery near Poplar Avenue and I-240. The Memphis Fire Department was able to reach the driver of the vehicle using a ladder, according to a Facebook post. Firefighters noted the snowfall has made it impossible to see roads within the cemetery.

An SUV drove into a pond Monday morning at Memorial Park Cemetery.
An SUV drove into a pond Monday morning at Memorial Park Cemetery. (Source: WMC)

1:05 p.m.: Multiple Mid-South school districts are already canceling classes for Tuesday. Lakeland School System and and DeSoto County schools will be closed February 16. Germantown Municipal Schools campuses will be closed, but students will continue learning virtually. Follow latest announcements from local school districts and universities on our closings webpage.

12:56 p.m.: All Mid-South Kroger stores are closing at 6 p.m. Monday because of weather conditions. Most stores will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

12:44 p.m.: DeSoto County Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency proclamation because of severe winter weather conditions.

12:12 p.m.: MLGW has closed its community offices for the day, citing deteriorating weather conditions. Customers can still conduct business on their account by calling 901-544-6549. The utility remains prepared to respond to outages. Problems appear limited at this time, with the MLGW map showing 10 scattered outages and 118 customers without electricity.

11:38 a.m.: Germantown police report deteriorating road conditions and several stranded vehicles on steep grades in the city. Crews are actively working to clear streets.

11 a.m.: Memphis International Airport is still open and crews have been working around the clock to clear runways and taxiways. But more than a dozen flights have been canceled for the day. Passengers can check flight statuses here.

10:45 a.m.: In an interview with WMC Action News 5, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings described the weather as some of the worst he has seen since 1994. The department is now following an inclement weather crash policy, meaning officers will not respond to crashes where no one is injured. Drivers should instead take photos to document the damage and file a report over phone or in person at a police precinct within five days.

Officers are also checking on seniors and the homeless population, offering rides to warming center if people need them. Rallings urged people not to go out if they can avoid it. ”I’ve got several words: Slow down, slow down, slow down,” he said. It’s a message that has been echoed by city crews working to keep road clears.

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