DeSoto County issues emergency proclamation as winter weather rages on

Corinne S Kennedy
Memphis Commercial Appeal

The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors issued a local proclamation of emergency Monday afternoon in response to the winter weather sweeping through the Mid-South.

"Travel conditions are becoming increasingly dangerous with some roads impassable. Trees, limbs, and power lines can fall because of wintry precipitation," according to a post on the county government Facebook page. "DeSoto County is facing record-breaking cold temperatures with wind chills below zero degrees."

The emergency proclamation allows for extra resources to be used for storm response efforts. All county offices will be closed Feb. 16. 

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DeSoto County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Tish Clark said county roads were treacherous on Monday and were covered with ice and snow. 

"We’ve had several cars slide off roadways. No injuries. But road conditions are terrible and visibility is very limited," she said.

Statewide weather issues

Monday morning, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said crews across the state were working to clear roads and restore power to residents. 

"We're doing as well as we can under the circumstances," he said in an interview on the Weather Channel. "We're not used to this ice and snow and freezing rain."

The governor said statewide, there were more than 30,000 people without power and he feared the number would continue to increase throughout the day as more ice and snow piled up and temperatures dropped.

A man fishes as below-freezing temperatures and snow flurries cover Southaven on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021.

He said emergency crews were also struggling to get to some remote areas of the state due to the ice and snow already present. 

"We deal with disasters all the time, but when it's ice, it makes it especially difficult," Reeves said.

He asked Mississippians who could to remain home to keep the roads clear for emergency responders and encouraged people to check on their neighbors, especially older people. 

Corinne Kennedy covers economic development, soccer and COVID-19's impact on hospitals for The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached via email at Corinne.Kennedy@CommercialAppeal.com or at 901-297-3245.