downed tree

Laura Hyche / The Meridian Star

A downed tree near Grandview Avenue in Meridian. 

The City of Meridian has issued a safety and travel advisory for area residents, according to a Thursday press release.

The city is asking citizens to limit travel and stay off roadways because of dangerous conditions such as downed power lines and falling trees and limbs.

“Be mindful that City Public Works crews are out clearing trees and debris, and power crews are working diligently to restore power,” the city said in the press release. “We are asking that you avoid these areas so utility workers can continue to restore services as soon as possible.”

Many homes in Meridian's North Hills neighborhood and in the Topton and Lauderdale area have lost power, according to the Mississippi Power Outage Map.

City officials are continuing to monitor hazardous conditions and will provide additional updates as they become available, according to the news release.

School and college closures

Meridian Public School District will be closed on Friday, and students and staff will not participate in virtual learning.

The Lauderdale County School District will have a virtual learning day on Friday, for all those who are able to participate. All school campuses and offices will be closed to prevent travel. 

Newton County Schools, Neshoba County School District, Union Public School District and Philadelphia Schools will be closed on Friday. 

Kemper County School District will have a virtual learning on Friday.

Meridian Community College will remain closed until Monday, Feb. 22, due to power and water outages across our service area. Please continue to monitor MCC social media for updates.

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.

Mississippi State Department of Health 

Due to winter weather, all Mississippi State Department of Health county health departments, WIC centers, and offices except those in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone, George, Greene, Perry, Forrest, Lamar, Wayne, Jones, Covington, Marion, Jefferson Davis and Lauderdale counties will be closed on Friday, February 19.

The MSDH facilities in Smith County will open at 9 a.m. Friday. Those in Pike, Walthall, Simpson, Lawrence, Jasper and Clarke counties will open at 10 a.m. Friday.

MSDH drive-through COVID-19 vaccination sites are cancelled tomorrow except those in Harrison, Jackson, Forrest, Pike and Lauderdale counties. Those with cancelled appointments will automatically be rescheduled for the same time on a different day and notified by phone, e-mail, or text.

The MSDH testing site in Smith County will open at 10 a.m. Friday. The Pearl River County testing site will be open as scheduled.

These details can change dependent on weather. Check the MSDH website at for the latest in cancellations.

Bianca Moorman contributed to this report.

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