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Saturday, November 1, 2014

More snow, ice expected tonight

Roads in Oxford and Lafayette County aren’t expected to clear up a whole lot during the next 24 hours, and local and state officials are recommending drivers stay off area roads if possible.
While Oxford only received about a inch of snow overnight, the cold temperatures caused the thin layer of snow, that fell when there wasn’t a lot of traffic on the road, to turn into a sheet of ice in some places.
“Most of the city streets have some form of precipitation on them, whether it’s snow or ice,” Oxford Emergency Management Coordinator Jimmy Allgood said. “It seems the snow is turning into ice, making them worse this morning.”
The icy roads caused all area schools to close today with officials monitoring the weather for Wednesday.
“We will continue to monitor the weather conditions for school tomorrow,” Oxford School District Communications Director Kelly Graeber said. “The roads are really bad right now, especially for school buses. We will continue to survey it from the school district perspective as the weather evolves into tomorrow morning.”
The city and county both canceled garbage and recycling collection for today, according to Oxford Solid Waste Superintendent Amberlynn Liles.
“Due to the weather causing potential risk of accidents, the city of Oxford residential and commercial sanitation and recycling will not be collected as scheduled,” Liles said this morning. “Today’s route will be collected on Wednesday.
The National Weather Service said more snow and sleet is expect this evening with a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow before midnight then turning into mostly snow with a low of 28 degrees.
“We will see tonight very much the same as we saw (Monday) night,” NWS Meteorologist Andy Sniezak said this morning. “Oxford should get about an inch of snow but not much more.”
But with another inch of sleet and snow, roads could become even worse over night, Allgood warned.
The city or county does not have the ability to salt roads.
“We put down slag (crushed rock) at the intersections and hilly roads,” Allgood said.
MDOT has been putting salt down on the highways, but MDOT put out a road advisory this morning for Lafayette County, warning of ice on highways and bridges.
“The public is encouraged to limit travel only in case of emergency. MDOT encourages the traveling public to pay attention to weather and travel advisories issued by the National Weather Service, local law enforcement and the Mississippi Highway Patrol,” the statement said. “MDOT crews are monitoring the state’s interstates and highways, and motorists are encouraged to stay off roadways affected by winter weather.”
Motorists who must travel in areas affected by this winter weather event need to: buckle up for safety, drive safely, stay alert and slow down.
Lafayette County Emergency Management Coordinator David Shaw said all the roads in the county with snow on them are getting more dangerous as the morning progresses.
“The snow is turning to ice as traffic runs over it,” he said. “Drive with care.”
The good news?
“After this, we’re done for awhile,” Sniezak said.
The highs for this weekend are expected to be in the high-50s to low-60s.
Meanwhile, check oxfordeagle.com for cancellations and closing updates. (February 11, 2014, Page 1)

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