A winter storm – sleet, ice and freezing rain – had much of north Mississippi shut down Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.
Only one lane of Interstate-22 through northeast Mississippi counties was clear.
Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has little equipment for clearing snow and ice from roadways. One MDOT “snowplow” was seen eastbound on I-22 about 4 p.m. However, it appeared to be working only to keep the one lane open.
Observation of the MDOT traffic cams in Tupelo and at I-22 at the Blue Springs exit showed only one motor vehicle passing every minute or so after sunset. Alternatively, one might see six or more vehicles in a row on the interstate every several minutes. That, of course, was due the fact that cars and trucks pile up behind the slowest car on the road. Passing is impossible – or extremely dangerous – because the passing lane is packed with snow and ice.
A Tupelo businessman told us he was amazed that the city street workers there had done such a good job of keeping the main streets open. Gloster, Cliff Gookin, Main Street, McCullough Blvd, etc. have at least one lane open to traffic. Side streets in Tupelo have had none of the “wintry mix” cleared.
City streets in Baldwin, Fulton, Pontotoc, New Albany, Ripley, etc. and county roads throughout the area are packed with snow and ice and are extremely dangerous.
The inscription in stone, several hundred feet long, along the main façade of the old James A. Farley General Post Office in New York says, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Nevertheless, many post offices in north Mississippi were not open for business on Tuesday.
However, Stokes Supermarket in New Albany was open and doing business Tuesday, its parking lot about half full Tuesday afternoon.
More snow, perhaps a lot of it, is forecast for tomorrow.
As this is written about 8 p.m. Tuesday evening, the weather radar shows a huge mass of snow over all of Oklahoma and parts of north Texas, moving toward Mississippi. And moist air continues to flow toward us from the Gulf of Mexico.