Travel not advised by MDOT due to ‘significant’ icing on highways

Published 12:24 pm Thursday, January 18, 2024

The Mississippi Department of Transportation advises motorists not to travel in north Mississippi, especially the Memphis metro as significant icing is occurring on interstates and highways from the Tennessee state line to Grenada County.

The continued winter weather is also hampering MDOT’s efforts to treat roads and bridges in northern areas of the state.

Freezing rain is falling across much of north Mississippi, leaving a light glaze of ice over already impacted roadways. Numerous accidents are being reported, and travel has become dangerous in many areas. MDOT maintenance forces in north Mississippi have already used more than 43,000 gallons of brine to treat roadways—more than any amount used in recent memory.

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Despite unprecedented pretreatment efforts and a 24/7 response by MDOT maintenance forces, solid ice and continued frozen precipitation have created extremely dangerous conditions on north Mississippi roads. 

In northwest Mississippi, crews continue salting and slagging. Plowing efforts have become ineffective due to the thickness of the ice on the roadway. Traffic is passable on all routes although there have been slow downs where accidents have occurred. Four-lane routes have pavement visible in most outside lanes but those lanes are becoming covered in ice. The weather system will begin impacting counties in northeast Mississippi later in the day.

The following traveling tips are recommended in the event of an emergency that requires travel in north Mississippi:

  1. Remember, ice will form on bridges and overpasses quicker than the road.
  2. Slow down. Winter weather conditions can create black ice.
  3. Buckle up and avoid distractions, such as talking or texting on cell phones.
  4. Allow more space between your car and the vehicles around you.
  5. Brake early and gently to avoid skidding. Never slam on the brakes.

Conditions of prolonged ice and freezing temperatures like this can overwhelm available resources, and cars can be on the roadways for long periods. Here are some important items to keep in your vehicle in the event of an emergency:

  1. Windshield scraper
  2. Flashlight with extra batteries
  3. Portable cellphone charger and cable
  4. Jumper cables
  5. Bottled water and snacks
  6. Extra blankets

For more information on how to prepare for winter weather, visit For real-time road conditions on Mississippi’s highways and bridges, download the MDOT Traffic mobile app, visit and follow @MississippiDOT on Facebook and X, formerly Twitter.