Gov. Phil Bryant has declared a State of Emergency in preparation for coming winter weather across south Mississippi. A State of Emergency declaration is an administrative tool that allows state officials to position and deploy resources to assist areas that are impacted by an emergency. “I have declared a State of Emergency to aid emergency officials in preparing for the onset of this potentially dangerous weather,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “Residents should not overreact but should make plans now to ensure they are prepared for prolonged freezing conditions and icy roadways. I am working closely with MEMA, MDOT, the Department of Public Safety and other state agencies to monitor the situation, and we will issue updates as necessary.” Residents should prepare for the possibility of power outages, problems with pipes that are not fully insulated or at risk to burst and very dangerous driving conditions. Last week the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and other emergency service officials reported more than 100 vehicle accidents occurred in south Mississippi from icy conditions. For more information, visit MEMA’s website at www.msema.org. Also stay tuned to your local news for further updates.
The following schools are closed on Tuesday AND Wednesday:
-Bay St. Louis & Waveland
-The Biloxi School District
-Christian Collegiate Academy
-Grace Baptist Academy Ocean Springs
-Greene County School District
-Hancock County schools
-Jackson County schools
-Long Beach schools
-Moss Point schools
-Pass Christian schools
-Pearl River County schools
-Stone County schools
-Harrison County schools
-Blue Cliff College in Gulfport
-Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
-Pearl River Community College
-Virginia College in Biloxi
-Miller-Motte Technical College
The following schools are closed on Tuesday and are UNDECIDED about closing or are OPEN on Wednesday:
-Catholic Diocese of Biloxi
-Gulfport School District (Open Wednesday)
-Holy Trinity Catholic School
-Our Lady Academy
-Ocean Springs schools
-Sacred Heart Elementary
-William Carey University (Hattiesburg & Tradition Campuses)
-University of Southern Mississippi
The following are offices/bases/businesses that will be closed:
-The Naval Construction Battalion Base in Gulfport (Open Wednesday)
-Mississippi Power Offices in: Hattiesburg, Laurel, Ellisville, Picayune, Poplarville, Lumberton, Purvis, Columbia, Sumrall, Richton, Waynesboro, Bay St Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Wiggins, Lucedale and Leakesville. The Meridian offices will remain open at this time, but that could change based on forecast data.
-Ingalls Shipbuilding continues to monitor the winter weather that is expected to impact the Gulf Coast this week. All Ingalls Shipbuilding Gulf Coast facilities are currently operating under normal working conditions. Employees are encouraged to check the company’s emergency information phone line for any work schedule changes and updates. Employees should call 1-877-871-2058 (Press 2 for Ingalls).
-Officials with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources announced Monday that all oyster reefs will close at 4 p.m. because of hazardous weather conditions.
-The Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System has cancelled all Veterans’ medical appointments at its Biloxi, Mobile, Pensacola, and Eglin Air Force Base medical facilities through Jan. 29, due to the anticipated impact of the winter storm on safety and transportation. These VA facilities will be closed Jan. 28-29. The Biloxi VA emergency room will be open.
-Non-essential Biloxi city employees will not report to work Tuesday and all non-emergency city offices will be closed as a result of the expected severe winter weather, and the City Council meetings scheduled for Tuesday will be re-scheduled for later in the week. The city has also activated its 24-hour emergency line at 228-435-6300 with information about scheduling changes and updates. Among the announced closures for Tuesday are Biloxi City Hall, Biloxi Natatorium, Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center, Biloxi Visitors Center, Community Development, Parks & Recreation offices at Hiller Park.
Essential employees will staff the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center, all city fire stations and the city's Public Works Department.
Public Works crews are scheduled to begin laying a coat of sand on city bridges and roadways Tuesday at 4 a.m.
Meantime, Harrison County, which has announced that county facilities will be closed Tuesday, has announced two cold weather shelters will be open: the D'Iberville Civic Center Multi-Purpose Building at 10395 Auto Mall Parkway, and the Salvation Army Building at 2019 22nd, Gulfport.
-Due to the winter storm expected to impact South Mississippi in the coming hours, City Offices of Pascagoula will be closed on Tuesday, January 28. A decision regarding hours for Wednesday, January 29, will be made Tuesday afternoon. Updates can be found online at cityofpascagoula.com, the City of Pascagoula Facebook page or by listening to WMJY Magic 93.7. Pascagoula Municipal Court will also be closed Wednesday. Anyone who was to appear this week will be rescheduled for February 12, 2014 at 1 p.m.
-The trash in unincorporated areas of Jackson County will not be collected tomorrow, Tuesday due to the weather. A decision for Wednesday’s pick-up will be made tomorrow and depend on the weather.
-Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport has cancelled many arriving and departing flights. For a list, please go to http://www.flygpt.com/FlightInfo.
-The United States Postal Service will attempt to deliver mail as long as they can tomorrow and possibly Wednesday. They will continue to monitor conditions but do not want to put their drivers at risk.
-Due to the winter storm warning issued for the Gulf Coast of MS for Tuesday, January 28 Coast Transit Authority will operate the following services on Tuesday. Fixed Route Bus Service: All Fixed Route services will operate as scheduled. Transportation to cold weather shelters in Harrison County will be available on the fixed route service. Demand Responie Service: All Demand Response trips in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock counties will be cancelled with the exception of essential medical trips. Beach Bus Stations: All the Beach Bus Stations will be closed. Only essential CTA personnel should report to work.
- Keesler Air Force Base will be closed Tuesday Jan. 28, due to anticipated inclement weather. Emergency essential services will remain available. All personnel should avoid unnecessary travel. The base exchange and commissary facilities will be closed. The only 81st Force Support Squadron operations that will remain open are lodging and the Azalea and Magnolia dining facilities. Dining facility hours of operation will be breakfast 7:30 - 9 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and dinner 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. For the most up-to-date information on Keesler Air Force Base, visit, www.keesler.af.mil or www.facebook.com/KeeslerAFB. For information regarding the 403rd Wing, visit http://www.403wg.afrc.af.mil or www.facebook.com/403wing. Also stay tuned to local television and radio broadcasts for updates.
-All City parks including Beach Park Pier will be closed tomorrow in the interest of safety. Parks and the pier will reopen when the bad weather passes and city offices reopen. Please continue to check Facebook and our website, www.cityofpascagoula.com for updates.