Greenwood-area residents woke up Thursday morning to yet another layer of winter precipitation, as a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain was added on top of the already hazardous roads.
This is the second time this week the region has been put under a winter storm warning. The National Weather Service, however, expected the system to move out by noon Thursday.
Ed Traver, a meteorologist with the Jackson office of the National Weather Service, said that the Greenwood area has received about 4 inches of a mixture of snow, ice and sleet.
While there is a chance of snow and freezing drizzle, little to no further buildup is expected.
“There could be some light freezing rain and snow, but there should not be any more major accumulation,” Traver said.
As Friday approaches, the service predicts that the weather will be mostly sunny, with a high near 32. A high near 42 is expected Saturday.
“It is probably not going to be until Saturday that we see any melting,” Traver said. “We have a couple of cold nights coming, with lows about 15 to 20 degrees (Thursday) and 10 to 15 degrees Friday night.”
As long as ice remains on roads, it will continue to be dangerous to drive.
Mississippi Highway Patrol Sgt. Ronnie Shive said there were multiple incidents throughout the area from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning, but could not give an estimated number.
Shive said multiple vehicles veered off the road during the winter weather. As of Thursday morning, however, there were no injuries reported.
“We are swamped at the moment,” Shive said via text.
A tweet Thursday morning from the Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop D, which includes Leflore County, said, “Troopers reporting terrible road conditions this morning with iced over bridges along with multiple vehicles off the roadway,” and advised drivers to remain home.
Jerry Smith, Leflore County’s road manager, said Thursday morning that despite the additional ice and snowfall Wednesday night, 80% of the county’s roads have been maintained, meaning they are drivable.
“We’re looking pretty good,” he said.
Wednesday night’s accumulation of ice also led to various power outages in areas served by Greenwood Utilities and Delta Electric Power Association.
Brian Finnegan, CEO of Greenwood Utilities, said one customer had lost power Wednesday night and four customers had to have their water disconnected because of frozen pipes.
Given the amount of precipitation, however, Finnegan said, “We did very, very well.”
During the peak of the storm Wednesday night, 3,000 Delta Electric customers throughout southern Carroll County, northern Holmes County and southern Montgomery County lost power because of the weather, David O’Bryan, general manager of Delta Electric, said.
By Thursday morning, the number of customers without power was whittled down to 1,400. O’Bryan said that he anticipates all customers should have their power returned by Friday.
One fear has been the possibility of rolling blackouts, which have been used in some areas of Mississippi and other parts of the South as a method to conserve energy amid the widespread winter storm. Believing the worst of the storm has passed, and with warmer weather on the radar, both Finnegan and O’Bryan said that possibility has now greatly diminished.
An interactive map showing power outages throughout Mississippi on www. poweroutage.us reported a modest number of outages for the area as of Thursday morning, with Carroll County showing around 20% of electrical outages, while Leflore, Sunflower, Grenada and Tallahatchie counties all had less than 10%.
Post offices reopened throughout the state Wednesday but have since closed again Thursday.
On Wednesday, carriers were delivering the mail, although service was limited due to hazardous road conditions. This is the third time this week mail has not been delivered — Monday because of the Presidents’ Day holiday as well as Tuesday and Thursday because of the winter storm.
Meanwhile, several stores in the area have remained closed or have adjusted their hours because of the winter conditions.
Greenwood Market Place adjusted its hours of operation again Thursday and will close at 6 p.m. Management at Walmart on U.S. 82 could not be reached for an update, but the store closed at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Save A Lot on West Park Avenue will be closing at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Most elementary and secondary school campuses are closed for the rest of the week. The only school that may be open Friday is Delta Streets Academy, which had not announced its intentions as of late Thursday morning.
Mississippi Valley State University’s campus in Itta Bena as well as all Mississippi Delta Community College locations are closed through the rest of the week.
Greenwood City Hall was closed again Thursday. A Facebook post from the mayor’s office said city crews will continue to add more salt to all bridges within the city limits and that if anyone in the city needs a warm place to shelter, call emergency management at 299-2600.
The city has not picked up garbage or trash this week because of the ice-covered roads. Mayor Carolyn McAdams said that when the weather shifts, the city will resume the service and work through the weekend if necessary to catch up on garbage collection.
Staff writer Gerard Edic contributed to this report.
• Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or email@example.com. Twitter: @AdamBakst_GWCW