Cold Comfort: Winter weather is here
By Dwayne Bremer
Jan 28, 2014, 13:11
Old man Winter was alive and well in Hancock County over the past few days.
Last Friday, an ice storm caused bedlam on the highways and roads and on Tuesday another forecasted storm closed most public offices and schools.
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures on Wednesday will plummet into the low 20s and mixed with precipitation that fell on Tuesday--will cause icy and dangerous conditions throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
"We are asking residents do not to go driving in the icy conditions unless absolutely necessary," Hancock County Emergency Management Director Brian Adam said Tuesday. "If you do have to drive, be very careful."
On Friday evening, icy conditions contributed to more than a dozen accidents in the county.
The largest accident took place at the I-10 Louisiana/Mississippi state-line bridge.
Officials said the bridge froze up and at about 6:30 p.m. a chain-reaction crash caused dozens of vehicles to slam into each other.
27 vehicles were effected on the Mississippi side of the bridge and another 20 on the Louisiana side, West Hancock Fire Chief Kim Jones said.
There were several injures, but no fatalities reported, Jones said.
Accidents also occurred on Highway 90 in Pearlington, Lakeshore Road, the Bay St. Louis Bridge, and the Jourdan River Bridge on I-10.
The accidents caused many people to be stranded on the interstate while crews from MDOT applied salt and sand to the bridges and overpasses.
Residents took to social media to express their frustration and seek directions. Some said they were stranded on the road for more than four hours.
By day-break Saturday, the roads and bridges had all reopened.
On Monday, EMA officials began preparing for another weather system, this one larger than last Friday's.
Armed with the knowledge of last week's storm, county, city, and state government offices all closed Tuesday.
All schools will be closed Wednesday, along with Bay St. Louis Municipal Court.
For a list of closures check out www.seacoastecho.com
If you need assistance while driving can call Hancock Central Dispatch at 228-255-9191, Harrison County Dispatch at 228-865-7060, or dial 511 if you are in Louisiana.