February 10, 2014 1:44:52 PM
In anticipation of potential ice, freezing rain and snow, several schools and universities in the Golden Triangle area have announced they will be closed Tuesday.
The National Weather Service in Jackson has issued a winter storm warning that includes Lowndes, Oktibbeha and Clay counties.
Those counties are projected to receive a quarter- to a half-inch of sleet and freezing rain late tonight into Tuesday morning. The NWS indicates this will lead to ice on bridges, overpasses, roadways, trees and power lines, making for hazardous driving conditions and possible power outages.
The following school closings for Tuesday have been announced.: Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, East Mississippi Community College, Columbus Municipal School District, Lowndes County School District, Starkville School District, West Point School District, Clay County School District, Annunciation Catholic Schools, Heritage Academy, Victory Christian Academy, Immanuel Christian Academy and St. Paul's Episcopal Day Care.
Columbus Air Force Base will be closed Tuesday. The Lowndes County Courthouse and all county administrative offices will also be closed. Circuit Court will not meet.
All locations of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library System will be closed all day Tuesday and reopen at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Columbus City Hall will be closed all day.
4-County Electric Power Association announced it has begun emergency preparations to deal with any possible damage to power lines or service interruption. Customers will be able to report a power outage by calling 1-800-431-1544.
"If we do have an ice event and lines are down, everyone should be very careful," Joe Miller, 4-County safety and training coordinator, said in a release. "If you see a downed power line, stay away from it and call it in."
Miller advised taking emergency preparations such as ensuring fireplaces and gas or fuel-powered hearters and generators are properly ventilated, keeping a fire extinguisher available, having an emergency kit with flashlights, candles and matches as well as drinking water and a weather radio, having a fully charged cell phone and dressing as warmly as possible. He also advised not using ovens or stoves for heating homes and clearing flammable items from space heaters.
Delta Airlines has canceled its arrival flight today and 7 a.m. departure flight Tuesday at Golden Triangle Regional Airport, Executive Director Mike Hainsey has confirmed.
This article will continue to be updated as announcements come in.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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