Photo by Ethan Davis
A breaker smolders after weather-related damage at the North Holly Springs Substation.

Photo by David Cook
An 18-wheeler ends up in the ditch after sliding off I-22 Friday afternoon.

Photos by Kelly McMillen and David Cook
(Left photo) Highway 7 North and (right photo) an accident at the I-22 and I-269 intersection

Photo by David Cook
Car slides off road on I -22 at West Holly Springs Exit and gets assistance from wrecker service

Photo by Barry Burleson
South Center Street, looking toward the courthouse

Photo by David Cook
Highway 309 North, bridge over Coldwater River

Winter weather hits hard

• Ice, snow accumulate

The weather started out bad in Marshall County Friday morning and only got worse.

The ice hit first and then came the snow.

“Friday afternoon, we really got busy,” said Maj. David Cook, with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Depart ment. “More people were out on the roads.”

Cook spent the day riding the roads in the county.

He said travel conditions were bad everywhere but a lot worse in the northern part of the county, like the Highway 72 area. He estimated three inches of snow on top of the ice.

The highway accidents started happening in the county from about 1 p.m. Friday continuously until Saturday morning, according to Cook.

“Thank goodness, there was nothing real serious,” he said.

Interstate 22 between Lake Center and Potts Camp was shut down for a while Saturday night due to an 18-wheeler accident. Traffic was diverted onto Highway 178, Cook said, and then an 18-wheeler jackknifed on that route.

“A lot of 18-wheelers struggled on the hills,” he said.

Some of the worst roads in the City of Holly Springs, according to the police department, were J.M. Ash Drive, Industrial Drive, Highway 178 West (the steep hill coming into the city) and Highway 178 East from East Boundary to the city limits.

Police said they responded to a high volume of stranded motorists, accidents and vehicles in ditches. They recommended no one drive in such conditions unless absolutely necessary, and if so, drive with extreme caution at a very slow pace.

HSUD report

Holly Springs Utility Department experienced some outages that were worsened by a failure of the ground-out mechanism at the North Holly Springs Sub station, according to general manager Bill Stone.

He said a mechanism was frozen up. The power was rerouted to the South Substation in Holly Springs, the Slayden Substation and to the Coldwater (Mt. Pleasant) Substation, he said.

“I think the gist of it is the situation was weather-related,” he said.

“At the peak of the outages when the substation was down, the number of customers without power was very briefly over 2,000, during some of the switching operations, but the sustained outage peaked at about 1,700 meters. Our new outage detection and notification system gives us a better picture of outages than we’ve ever had before.”

The system is still in testing stages but has been online for a couple of weeks.

He said utility workers have not yet determined the cause of the substation shutdown but the working theory is there was some ice buildup on one of the bars that created a fault (short circuit).

“Other than the breaker that was destroyed, damage to the station appears minimal,” Stone said. “Once we got past that big outage Friday, we really had a calm weekend after that.”

Some good news is that the GE outage detection notification system is now reporting outages directly to HSUD as it was designed to do, he said.

“Now we can get pretty accurate counts of the number of outages,” he said.

Customers cannot yet go to a map to check to see if their power is on, he said.

“We’re not ready for prime time yet,” Stone said.

The CRC dispatching is also providing more accurate information, he said.

County road report

County administrator Larry Hall said his crews had applied snow melt to the intersections and bridges Friday night during the wintry mix of sleet and snow. Road crews were still out Monday working slick spots, non-stop, he said.

There was a lot of sleet mixed with rain before the snow Thursday night and Friday, Hall said. North of Coldwater River at least three inches of ice and snow accumulated and Highway 311 was a solid sheet of ice.

Lots of trucks slid off the road at Highway 72 at Gateway Global Drive and at Cayce Road and Highway 72.

“As late as Saturday afternoon, they (vehicles) were still stalling on Highway 311, he said.

Team Waste ran its Friday route Monday, Hall said. The company added extra trucks to get over the county Monday. He said MLK Day was a regular work day for Team Waste. If roads are bad, trucks can’t run, he said.

The impending snow due Tuesday of this week would likely make it necessary to go back out, he said.

“It (the snow and ice) isn’t going anywhere. It will be all to do over again,” Hall said Monday afternoon.

Weather-related death

A Potts Camp resident was found dead Saturday, Jan. 13, on Edwards Street, according to coroner James Richard Anderson.

He said the body of Rosera Hernandez, 46, was found lying in the street. Hernandez had apparently fallen and struck her head on the curb, he said.

The coroner said the cause of death was hypothermia.

“It was very icy,” Anderson said.

He said a deputy on his way to work around 5:30 Saturday morning was flagged down by a resident.

Hernandez lived on East Ashland Avenue in Potts Camp.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388
www.southreporter.com

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