Dyer County under an ice storm warning
The National Weather Service has cancelled the winter storm warning for Dyer County and issued an ice storm warning in its place. The warning is effective until 6 p.m. Friday. According to the NWS, an ice storm warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring.
Local grocery stores, gas stations and hardware stores were lined with residents on Thursday morning, who were preparing for the winter weather that will begin to descend on our area late on Thursday afternoon. Residents stocked up on canned goods, bread, milk, space heaters and when they could get their hands on them: generators. Although shoppers have been plentiful there have been no reports of mass chaos throughout the community.
The National Weather Service is projecting that weather conditions will continue to deteriorate Thursday evening producing a wintry mix of ice, sleet and snow coupled with winds from 15 to 20 miles per hour. The worst of the weather is expected after midnight on Thursday and through 6 p.m. on Friday. A second round of winter weather is also forecast for Sunday.
City and county officials both report that they are as prepared as they can be, but as Dyer County Fire Chief James Medling commented its tough to pinpoint the exact forecast and during the 2009 ice storm, five miles made all the difference.
"Folks just need to be prepared and continue to monitor the weather," said Medling by phone on Thursday morning.
Medling says that he has been in communication with the Red Cross and a determination on whether on whether or not to open a shelter will be made on Friday. The Red Cross is currently preparing to open shelters and is prepared to do so on a moment's notice if needed.
Dyer County Roads Superintendent Jeff Jones says that he has his crews ready and on standby. However, with the unpredictability of when the rain will change over to ice, sleet and snow, the roads most likely will not be salted until after the storm passes on Friday evening. Jones encourages residents who do not have to be on the roads to stay home to allow crews to work on clearing trees and salting roads.
Dyersburg emergency officials also continue to monitor the situation. Mayor John Holden assured residents that the city is as prepared as it possibly can be, and there is nothing to do now but wait until pass.
"We will have all hands on deck," said Holden.
The city has salt trucks ready to go and the street department is conducting trash pickup of its Thursday and Friday routes on Thursday. Holden would like to remind residents to be careful and to take care of their neighbors, particularly their elderly neighbors and not to forget their pets.
Residents may see the following effects beginning Thursday during the overnight hours:
*Ice accumulations of one inch along with sleet and snow accumulations of two to four inches.
*Significant snow and ice accumulations will make travel nearly impossible Thursday night and Friday. Travel is strongly discouraged.
*Possible scattered to widespread power outages that could last anywhere from 12 hours to five days.
*Bridges and overpasses will ice first followed by roads.
In the event that the city implements its emergency action plans, residents are advised to be aware of the following safety information:
*During power outages, treat intersections controlled by red lights as 4 way stops.
*If roads are hazardous, and the City is under its Emergency Action Protocols for Winter Weather, the police department will not respond to motor vehicle accidents that do not involve injuries, and where the vehicles can be driven from the scene. Just exchange driver information and come to the police department later to file a delayed accident report. If someone is injured, or the vehicles cannot be driven from the scene, then call 311 or 911.
*People should stay home if possible, and not travel, as the roads will hazardous.
*Be careful with alternative heating sources and generators. Many people are killed as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, or even fires. Please read the safety information when using generators and when using alternative heating sources.
Below is a list of cancellations and closings. Please continue to check with the State Gazette's website for further updates.
*Dyersburg City Schools, Dyer County Schools, Christ Classical Academy and Dyersburg State Community College have all cancelled classes for Friday, Dec. 6 due to the threat of inclement weather.
*The Never Ready for Prime Time Players have announced that the "McDonald's Comes to Bogota" Hee Haw show will take place on Thursday, Dec. 5 but the show on Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7 is subject to cancellation depending on the weather.
*The Newbern Christmas Parade will still be held on Thursday evening as scheduled.
*McIver's Grant Public Library will be closed on Friday and Saturday.
*Christmas at McIvers Grant Public Library, the children's Christmas party scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, has been rescheduled to Friday, Dec. 13, from 3-5p.m.
*All Dyer County non-emergency offices closed Friday.
*The City of Dyersburg has implemented its inclement weather policy for Friday. All offices will be closed. Essential personnel will work as directed by the department head.
Last updated at 6:45 p.m.