Although severe winter weather rarely comes to the Coast, officials say the public did their part in staying safe. The weather this week was a brand new phenomenon for the Mississippi Gulf Coast and many rode out the winter storm in their homes. Emmitt High, a Moss Point resident, says, “I stayed inside unless I was on call or something and I got some soup, tried to stay warm.” That's exactly what officials wanted. Bail bondsman, Emmitt High, was one of many who heeded the warnings put out by emergency workers as they closed iced-over bridges and roads. High also says, “I thought that was a very safety point especially since we don't get it that much.” The ice on the roads caught the Coast off guard, but the amount of wrecks on Friday night showed residents just how dangerous the wintry mix could be. Rupert Lacy, the Director of the Harrison County Emergency Management Agency, says, “What we saw was wet conditions and a deep arctic freeze that very quickly that caught people off guard.” Sgt. Doug Adams of Pascagoula Police says, “Friday night at about 7:30, people started calling about icing on the bridge.”
The Coast saw dozens of car wrecks and abandoned vehicles Friday evening. Though unfortunate, it may have been a blessing in disguise as people stayed off the roads this week. Adams also says, “The people did an outstanding job. Businesses closed, schools took care of their children, kept people home.” Lacy also says, “The amount of accidents we saw on Friday,we did not see Monday, Tuesday night, Wednesday night.” Adams closes, "The city of Pascagoula only had two accidents related to the ice and the sleeting." With the amount of damage seen in cities across the southern U.S., local emergency responders are grateful that Gulf Coast residents heeded their warning. City officials are praising the public, city employees, and public works for their help in keeping this icy week problem-free.