Icy conditions prompt bridge closures, power strain

A slight dusting of snow fell in Biloxi overnight, and icy conditions on roadways caused the closure of three bridges, the Biloxi Bay Bridge, which links Biloxi and Ocean Springs, the Cedar Lake Bridge and the Lorraine Road bridge, and hazardous driving conditions throughout the city.

Police report that black ice – transparent coating of ice, found especially on a road or other paved surface – was causing hazardous conditions on bridges and roadways. In fact, some ramps on the I-110 highrise over Back Bay had been closed because of icy conditions.

Coast Electric, the power cooperative whose customers include Biloxi residents north of the Bay, is experiencing a critical shortage of electricity, and is asking its customers to reduce electricity use until further notice. Coast Electric customers are being asked to turn off all non-essential lighting, appliances and electronics to avoid rolling black outs. Home thermostats should be set to 68 degrees and customers are being asked to reduce use of water heaters, electric ovens, washing machines and dryers.

Coast Electric said if power consumption is not reduced among its members, “the next step will be to enact the electric cooperative’s emergency load reduction plans, which may result in a loss of electricity for members on a rotating basis.”The utility said its power-reduction policy does not apply to members dependent upon life-supporting medical devices; however, those customers should consider making plans in case of an interruption in service.

“We’re asking people to stay off the roads unless necessary, until things thaw,” said Biloxi Police Chief John Miller. “If you have to drive, please drive very, very slowly and be wary of icy conditions on roadways.”


Icy news and notes

More weather: To see the current conditions and forecast for this evening and the remainder of the week, click here.

Info line: The city’s info line was updated earlier this morning. To hear the advisories, which will be updated as needed, call 228-435-6300.

Schools: Biloxi Public Schools and all Catholic schools in Biloxi announced Tuesday evening that classes were suspended today because of weather. 

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