Biloxi to close non-emergency offices, facilities Tuesday

Non-essential city employees will not report to work Tuesday and all non-emergency city offices will be closed as a result of the expected severe winter weather, and the City Council meetings scheduled for Tuesday will be re-scheduled for later in the week.

The decisions were made in a just-concluded City Hall meeting of key city department heads and emergency managers.

The city has also activated its 24-hour emergency line at 228-435-6300 with information about scheduling changes and updates.

“We’re asking all employees and residents to keep updated on the news reports,” Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols said, “and by all means we’re asking the public to please stay off the roads Tuesday.”

Among the announced closures for Tuesday are Biloxi City Hall, Biloxi Natatorium, Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center, Biloxi Visitors Center, Community Development, Parks & Recreation offices at Hiller Park.

Essential employees will staff the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center, all city fire stations and the city’s Public Works Department.

Public Works crews are scheduled to begin laying a coat of sand on city bridges and roadways Tuesday at 4 a.m.

Meantime, Harrison County, which has announced that county facilities will be closed Tuesday, has announced two cold weather shelters will be open: the D’Iberville Civic Center Multi-Purpose Building at 10395 Auto Mall Parkway, and the Salvation Army Building at 2019 22nd, Gulfport.

Weather Service issues Winter Storm Warning

The National Weather Service in New Orleans has upgraded its Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Storm Warning for ice and snow accumulations. The warning, which means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are expected or occurring, is in effect from 6 a.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday. The warning also means travel will be very hazardous or impossible.

Timing: A wintry mix of precipitation could begin as early as daybreak Tuesday morning, with the heaviest precipitation expected from midday Tuesday into Tuesday night.

Impacts: Precipitation will begin in the form of freezing rain across the entire area. Precipitation will slowly transition to sleet and snow generally north of the interstate 10 corridor during the afternoon and evening. Ice accumulations of a quarter of an inch can be expected in all locations with accumulations possibly nearing a half inch south of Lake Pontchartrain and in the metropolitan New Orleans area. Snow amounts of one to three inches with locally higher amounts are possible especially in southwest Mississippi and the adjacent Louisiana parishes. Elsewhere in the warned area snow amounts of near to less than one inch are expected. In addition, a hard freeze is likely Wednesday morning across the entire area and
wind chill values in the single digits are possible on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

Main impact: Driving conditions will become especially hazardous beginning by daybreak Tuesday morning through mid-morning. Hazardous conditions will persist throughout the day Tuesday and into Tuesday night. Since temperatures will not rise above freezing for any significant period of time, hazardous driving conditions are likely to persist into Wednesday. In addition, ice accumulations of a quarter-inch may cause significant problems with power lines and tree limbs becoming too heavy to maintain their integrity.