Officials: Stay vigilant, ‘don’t panic’ as weather sets in

Published 9:50 am Saturday, January 13, 2024

As Monday’s forecasted winter-weather draws near, Warren County officials are issuing one more message to residents bracing for the storm.

“They’ve kind of upped that forecast on Monday,” Warren County Emergency Management Agency Director John Elfer said Friday. “It’s a 50-percent chance of sleet and freezing rain now. So, I just encourage people to pay attention to the forecast.”

Elfer said, while it is important to be prepared and have enough food and water to last at least 72 hours, he also doesn’t want Warren County residents to overreact.

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“Don’t panic,” he said. “Just be smart about things. Use good, common sense.”

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace added to Elfer’s advice, reminding residents to also be “good neighbors” during the uncommonly cold weather.

“We just need for everyone to check on each other,” Pace said. “If you know an elderly person or a person with special needs, just check on them. Make sure their heat hasn’t gone out. Because this is life-threatening cold. It could be deadly, if something happens.”

Pace said he also wants to remind residents that contributions are currently needed at River City Rescue Mission in Vicksburg, where the nonprofit will open a shelter for “anyone and everyone” in need, beginning as soon as temperatures drop below freezing.

River City board members earlier in the week said donations of warm clothing, cots, air mattresses, food and monetary contributions are all needed and can be dropped off at the mission’s location at 3705 Washington Street. Monetary donations may be made through the mission’s website, or the mission’s Facebook page.

“We went out yesterday with Ernie Hall from the mission and tried to make contact with as many people as we could; tried to let those who are homeless know,” Pace said.”We really need to be good neighbors and check on people during this.”