Winter storm’s worst misses Warren County

Published 6:51 pm Saturday, January 7, 2017

Icy conditions closed roads and made driving hazardous for motorists brave enough to venture out as a winter storm delivering sleet, snow and rain put Warren County in an overnight deep freeze with temperatures in the low 20s and single-digit wind chills.

Despite the cold, icy conditions, a total of 10 Entergy customers in Vicksburg were without power at various times Friday and Saturday.

“We didn’t do bad at all,” said Entergy customer service representative Shelia McKinnis. “We did very well despite the heavy ice.”

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The combination of cold temperatures and frozen precipitation combined for slick roads, forcing local officials to close some thoroughfares because of the hazardous conditions.

Concerns over hazardous weather Friday forced city police to close the North Frontage Road bridge between Iowa Boulevard and Washington Street over fears a motorist heading west on the road would slide down the slope to the bridge approach and hit it.

Conditions Friday night kept Vicksburg police and Warren County sheriff’s deputies busy working an estimated 63 automobile wrecks because of the slick roads.

Police Chief Walter Armstrong said officers worked about 40 wrecks across the city, including one involving an overturned 18-wheeler that rolled on Interstate 20 westbound near the Indiana exit.

“We had a busy day,” Armstrong said. “Not only working the wrecks, but with officers standing by blocking streets while the street department put slag on the roads. Fortunately, we had no injuries or deaths from the wrecks.”

Armstrong said Saturday afternoon all city streets were open with the exception of the North Frontage Road bridge.

Sheriff Martin Pace said his deputies worked 23 accidents, with six of those involving injuries. He said were not serious. There were no fatalities.

He said I-20 at the Hinds County line was closed about 3 a.m. Saturday because of multiple wrecks. He said U.S. 61 South from Alexander Road south to the Claiborne County line was closed Friday night after am 18-wheeler jackknifed, temporarily closing the road.

“All county roads are passable,” he said. “But people still need to be careful. There are still some roads with patches of ice, and there may be some sections where the ice hasn’t melted.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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