Officials prepare for significant snow

Published 10:40 am Thursday, January 21, 2016

Odds are there will be snow on the ground when waking up tomorrow morning.

The latest from the National Weather Service in Memphis indicates Lafayette County could see about 6 inches of snow by the end of the day Friday.

“We have the winter storm warning that will go into effect at midnight tonight and last through 9 p.m. on Friday evening,” said meteorologist Zach Maye. “What we expect for the Oxford area, 4 to 6 inches is possible. Locally, heavier amounts are possible.”

Email newsletter signup

Maye said Oxford will see rain and precipitation throughout the day today but in the evening the changeover to snow will take place.

He also said to plan for accumulation to stick around.

“Temperatures for Saturday are 34 degrees, so we’ll probably have a lot of it sticking around Saturday,” he said. “Sunday we’ll warm up to about 46 so we’ll see some melting. But it really just depends on how much snow you get to begin with.”

Maye said if it snows, use caution while on the roads.

“Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” he said. “It could cause some real problems for travel. We urge folks to not get out if it is not essential that you get out.”

For those who have to get out, Lafayette County Road Manager Jerry Haynie will have about 25 trucks out doing various work to keep the roads clear and safe.

“We try to have an inside hand on all of this,” he said. “We are getting all the trucks situated today. We’re getting them all ready to go for our bridges and intersections and all the things we do. We’re getting the equipment put inside and ready so that whatever comes about we’ll be ready.”

Haynie said they will put rock salt on bridges and then hit up a heavier rock when roads get worse.

“If it’s snow we’re looking for bridges to freeze over first,” he said. “But if we get a lot of snow we’ll be opening the main thoroughfares first and then we’ll come back and open up secondary roads.”

Another truck will be clearing roadways in subdivisions.

“We will keep a close eye on it and we’ll be ready to go to work and try to get the roads taken care of so people can come and go,” he said.

Residents in the Oxford School District will know at 6 a.m. if they will have to come and go to get children to school.

Kelly Graeber, spokeswoman for the school district, said 6 a.m. is the target time to make a decision about closing, delaying or opening the school doors.

“We are monitoring the weather as we get closer to the event, as it comes in,” she said. “If it moves in before 6 a.m. tomorrow then that’s going to make it easier to make a decision. Usually we wait until 6 a.m. the day of to decide if we are going to close schools.”

Graeber said parents should watch their cellphones and keep an eye on the school district website.

“We usually notify parents by making phone calls through school messenger so we encourage parents to keep their cellphones close by or check our website. News announcements will be on our home page,” she said.

Adam Pugh, superintendent of the Lafayette County School District, said he will make the decision today if school will be open or closed Friday.

“I’m going to watch the weather all day long,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll make a decision and have it on the 5:30 news tonight. We will try to have it on both newscasts tonight. Right now it does not look very promising to have school tomorrow.”