Tracking road conditions and power outages amid winter blast

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 10:30 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Multiple crashes have been reported around the Mid-South as we expect another day of freezing temperatures and sleet Wednesday. Emergency officials say they want you to stay home.

The first artic blast of 2023 left roads slick with sleet and drivers keeping an eye out for potential danger.

“If you have to go out, of course, keep a safe distance and watch your breaking and just be careful turning, and if you’re having a spin-out, [go] in the direction of the spin in this kind of thing. But the best advice I can give is if you don’t have to be out, don’t,” said Charles Newell, deputy administrator for Shelby County Emergency Management.

State, county, and city crews treated highways and roads Monday and Tuesday.

But emergency officials still warn drivers not to go out on interstates, overpasses, and roads to avoid crashes — like the pile-up early Tuesday morning on Third Street near I-155 in Memphis, or the multiple 18-wheeler crashes in Forrest City, Arkansas.

“If we have a wind storm, an ice storm or snow or any kind of major weather that causes limbs to fall into our lines and fall into our equipment, we’re going to have outages,” said Gale Jones Carson, MLGW vice president of External and Community Affairs.

The winter weather Tuesday left MLGW customers without power throughout the day.

MLGW leaders say the utility is most worried about ice on trees and they encourage residents to take precautions to avoid a potential outage or burst pipes.

“They should never assume that MLGW knows that their services are out,” said Jones Carson. “They should always call us and report to us the services are out and then that information will be in our system.”

Area businesses and school districts have already announced closures ahead of another day of sleet and freezing temperatures.

MPD’s inclement weather crash policy is also in effect.

If you or someone you know gets into an accident, make sure you and the person involved exchange insurance information and photos of the damage, and file a police report with MPD within five days.

An officer will not respond to the crash site unless it is serious.

An emergency warming center will also be open at the Greenlaw Community Center at 190 Mill Avenue until 8 a.m. Thursday.

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