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Storm watch cancelled as weather roller coaster continues
by Zack Steen
Feb 10, 2014 | 91 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chilling memories of ice storm 1994 filled the minds of Crossroads residents this past weekend as the National Weather Service issued a winter weather watch.

The storm was predicted to dump more than three inches of snow and ice on the area today. The NWS recalled the watch early Monday, issuing a new statement calling for only a slight chance of frozen precipitation.

John Moore III, a meteorologist with the NWS, said a strong arctic cold front combined with an upper level disturbance might produce a dusting for North Mississippi, but new models showed the heaviest precipitation chances would be much further south.

“Central Mississippi will see the greatest chance,” Moore said.

Today’s local forecast calls for a 20 percent slight chance of snow with a high of 34. Tonight could see snow or sleet. A 40 percent chance is possible with a low of 27.

Wednesday’s forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of sleet or freezing rain with highs in the high 30s and lows in the 20s.

This week marks the 20-year anniversary of ice storm ’94, the major ice storm that crippled North Mississippi in February 1994.

The ice storm was very unusual in size and the amount of precipitation that fell. It was the result of an abnormally large “overrunning” of moisture that moved into cold air ahead of a front, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The ice storm covered parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee, but Mississippi was the hardest hit.

The heaviest amounts of precipitation was reported in North Mississippi, as the storm dumped close to six inches of ice on the Crossroads.

On the morning of Feb. 10, 1994, ACE reported 100 percent of homes in Alcorn County had no power. Hundreds were without water. Roads were impassable. The fearful sound of cracking and crashing could be heard as strong winds pushed ice-laden trees and limbs to the ground.

A state of emergency was declared and the area experienced gasoline and food shortages. Businesses and schools were shutdown for up to two weeks. Parts of Alcorn County would not see electricity restored for up to three weeks.

The storm only lasted around 36 hours, but caused catastrophic damage that took the area months to recover. Signs of damage were still visible one year later.

Mississippi reported $1.3 million in urban tree loss and $500 million in utility damage.

More than $3 million in damage was caused in the five states affected, nine people were killed and more than 2 million customers were without power at the height of the storm.
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