Emergency management agencies batten down the hatches for winter storm

Emergency management agencies batten down the hatches for winter storm
All manner of vehicles were sliding off the road in the Metro area on Sunday. (Source: WLBT)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - “This truly is the calm before the storm, it’s kind of a prelude, and it’s really bad.”

That’s from Mike Word, Director of Rankin Emergency Operations Center. His deputy director, Brian Grantham, agreed.

“And we expect the heavy stuff to come sometime around 3 a.m. for Rankin County, so everything we’ve got now is going to stay with us and then we’re going to add on top of it,” he said.

In Rankin County, they’re mixing a solution to put on the bridges to clear the roads a little. Word says it’s labor intensive, with a mixture of sand, salt, stone and deicer.

“We did a lot of research on it and this is the mixture we came up with to be able to get more mileage out of what we’ve got,” he said. “This is our first time trying this, and we think it’s going to work well.”

Across the state, those kind of preparations are being made in every county. Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Communications Director Malary White said helping county emergency management agencies is one of MEMA’s main concerns.

“Your local emergency management agency or local emergency operations center is the heartbeat of how you and your city and your counties get through an emergency,”she said.

Another main concern MEMA has? Life safety for Mississippians.

“We really just want people to heed the warning of the meteorologists and what we’ve been saying, what the NWS has been saying,” she said. “Now is not the time to be driving anymore.”

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