Emergency Officials Say They're Ready

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

In this situation, two or three degrees warmer or colder can make a big difference in the kind of conditions Thursday brings. For this reason, dozens of emergency responders met for a meeting of minds to plan for the worst case scenario, which these responders say is heavy ice.

"I think everybody has been preparing for this over the last couple of days," said Lauderdale Emergency Management director David Sharp. "We started out preparing for something that was much worse."

But regardless of what happens, Sharp said he wants to make sure the community is ready. Hospitals. Red Cross. Law enforcement. These groups say they are prepared to work together.

Sheriff's deputies and police officers will be riding the roads over the next couple of days checking for roads that may need to be closed or people who need to seek warmer shelter.

But Assistant Police Chief Jeff Lewis says the department needs your help keeping an eye out for those in need.

"Just ask that you keep an eye for them. If you see something that you think they need help with, let us know," said Lewis. "We will be happy to go out and check on them."

Meridian public works director Monty Jackson says his crews are on stand-by, ready to be dispatched in the case sand is needed for icy roads.

"We have sand that is already trucked up and ready to be put on bridges is necessary. Depending on the time of day we will just have to make a judgment call," Jackson said.

Local emergency responders plan to keep a close eye on the situation throughout the day. The emergency operations center will open early in the morning Thursday and will remain open throughout the day and stay open as the situation progresses.

"We will have people up here answering calls, watching the radar, monitoring the radar," said Sharp. "See what kind of info the police officers are feeding up here so we know what is going on with the roads out there."

Sharp said he hopes none of the preparations are needed, but he wants residents to know they are ready regardless of what comes our way.

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