State of Emergency declared in Mississippi ahead of winter storm - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

State of Emergency declared in Mississippi ahead of winter storm

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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JACKSON, Miss. -

Gov. Phil Bryant has declared a State of Emergency in preparation for coming winter weather across portions of Mississippi. Northern and central portions of the state could see winter weather conditions including ice and winter precipitation, with accumulation expected in some areas.

More than 40 counties are included in the National Weather Service forecast area.

MORE: Winter Weather Resource Guide

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. "Mississippi has seen its share of winter weather lately, but now is not the time to become weather weary. Residents should not overreact but should make plans now to ensure they are prepared for a variety of conditions, including prolonged freezing temperatures, icy roadways and accumulations of ice and winter precipitation."

"Residents in areas affected by winter weather should not drive unless necessary, as road conditions may become hazardous.

Residents should prepare for the possibility of power outages, problems with pipes that are not fully insulated or at risk of bursting and very dangerous driving conditions.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation is monitoring road conditions and will issue traffic alerts for roadways and bridges that experience icing conditions. Residents may also dial 5-1-1 for information on road conditions.

After consulting with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and other emergency officials, Gov. Bryant has delayed the opening of state offices in areas impacted by winter weather, including the Jackson Capitol Complex, until 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

State agency directors have discretion to bring in essential personnel and should notify those employees who need to report to work prior to 10 a.m. Agency directors also have discretion to keep offices closed through the day on Tuesday if weather conditions persist. Gov. Bryant and emergency officials will continue to monitor the weather and will issue further guidance and updates as necessary.

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