Officials warn drivers ahead of dangerous wintry weather

By  | 

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - As we continue to monitor tomorrow’s potential winter weather, the mix of possible snow and freezing rain could bring slippery and dangerous road conditions.

Tuesday's wintry mix of possible snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected to cause havoc on roads and bridges.

"If you don't have to be out, we ask you to not be out," said Meridian’s Public Safety Director Doug Stephens.

Stephens met with city and county officials Monday to plan for the incoming winter weather. Crews are on standby to respond to any road emergency in the early morning hours.

"Hugh Smith has a night person that's going to be out monitoring those roads and bridges and the first sign of icing on those bridges. Mr. Smith has additional crews on standby to come in and start trying to do some deicing of those roads and bridges," said Stephens.

Stephens says pre-treating roads and bridges in our area is not an option at this point. He says the incoming rain overnight would wash away any salt or sand before snow enters the forecast.

"At this point we're not looking to salt or sand any roads. There's going to be major rain, then it's going to transition into the wintry precipitation. So we'd be ill-advised to do any salting at this point," said Stephens.

Based on the projected time of the winter weather, a curfew is not expected for Monday. Stephens does say things could change, however, depending on road conditions by Tuesday afternoon.

"If this event were to come in in the afternoon hours, if were a 4 o'clock p.m. to 10 o'clock p.m., then we might be looking at some type of curfew. But at this point we think the general public isn't out for the most part during that time so that's not something we're looking at right now," said Stephens.

To assist the traveling public in preparing for potential winter weather conditions, MDOT offers these safe driving tips:

First, ice will form on bridges and overpasses quicker than the road. Second, slow down. Should winter weather conditions occur, “black ice” can form. Third, allow more space between the vehicles in front of you. Fourth, brake early and gently to avoid skidding, and never slam on the brakes. Fifth, avoid distractions, such as talking or texting on a cell phone. Lastly, stay alert.

You can stay up-to-date on any potential road closings on the City of Meridian Facebook Page.