Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency issued a travel advisory on Wednesday evening, saying that trees are falling on roads and power lines across the county.
"Be careful as you are out on the roads," the agency said in the advisory.
LEMA said there are reports of some bridges starting to freeze over. Crews are cutting trees and working to restore power, the agency noted.
Meridian has had several days of hazardous weather. The city saw freezing rain and other precipitation during the day on Monday as well as snow late Monday night. The bad weather led to school closures and power outages in some areas. The city was also under curfews on Monday and Tuesday nights.
The city also experienced frigid temperatures – with a low temperature of 16 degrees on Monday, it set a record for the city’s lowest recorded temperature on any February 15, according to Mike Edmonston, a senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Jackson.
The previous record, set in 1943, was 18 degrees.
On Tuesday, the city set a record for the city’s lowest temperature on a February 16 — 14 degrees. With a high temperature of 22 degrees on Tuesday, the city also had the lowest recorded high temperature of any February 16.
Edmonston said the cold temperatures were due to an Arctic air mass settling over our region. An Arctic air mass is a large body of air which comes from the North Pole and which is very cold, according to the National Weather Service. There were also low pressure systems in the region, which led to precipitation, Edmonston noted.
The meteorologist expected that Wednesday night, Meridian would see rain and temperatures above freezing.
Thursday is expected to have a high in the lower 40s, but temperatures will drop to the lower 20s by Friday morning. Edmonston expects that the high on Friday will be in the lower 40s and the high on Saturday will be in the lower 50s.
Trash pickup in Lauderdale county
District 1 Supervisor Jonathan Wells said Wednesday morning that Arrow Disposal Service Inc., the waste hauling company that the county has a contract with, was running two days behind schedule. He added that the company would try to run extra trucks to make up for the lost time.
Wells said ADSI is encouraging county residents to bring their garbage carts to the edge of the road, which will help speed up the pickup process.
School and college closures
Meridian Public Schools and Lauderdale County School District will have virtual school on Thursday.
Newton County Schools, Neshoba County School District, Union Public School District and Philadelphia Public School District will be closed on Thursday. Newton Municipal School District will have virtual school on Thursday.
Kemper County School District will have virtual learning days on Thursday and Friday.
East Mississippi Community College will be closed for the rest of the week. Students should check email and Canvas for updates from instructors. Employees should continue to work from home if possible.
The East Central Community College campus in Decatur will stay closed for the rest of the week, and classes will meet virtually. Employees should continue to work from home when possible.
Meridian Community College will have online learning on Thursday. Employees will keep working from home when possible.