On Tuesday, icy temperatures and a light layer of snow hit Mississippi. On Jan. 28, the southern region of the United States witnessed a rare event: a winter storm. States such as Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi were covered in thin blankets of snow and ice, causing many schools, local businesses and government offices to close down. This was an unusual occurrence for the residents of Hattiesburg. The Hattiesburg American website reports three-quarters of an inch sleet accumulation on Southern Miss campus.
According to www.examiner.com, Mississippians saw one of the earliest snowfalls in the state’s history on Dec. 5, 2009. However, due to the rarity of events like this happening in the south, Hattiesburg residents were not prepared for the change in weather.
More serious effects of the snowstorm is the shift in driving conditions. Cheryl Stringer, a junior accounting major at William Carey University, advises drivers who choose to travel in dangerous conditions to make sure they distance themselves from other vehicles on the road.
During the storm, Stringer was traveling home at approximately 45 miles per hour when she noticed a van coming up behind her. Stringer sped up to distance herself from the van. Stringer then attempted to slow down before losing traction and sliding to the right side of the road.
“All I could do then was try to stop before I went over the
side,” Stringer said. “Trying to recover was no longer an option.” Stringer’s car then hit a patch of built-up snow, causing the car to stop moving.
Andrew Moore, a student at The University of Southern Mississippi, chose to take caution and stay indoors. Moore, a junior cultural anthropology student, was happy to learn that school had been cancelled.
“I’m too scared to drive even when the ice is thawing because there will be a lot of wrecks,” Moore said.
While people in other areas of the country are used to cold weather and snowstorms, this has been a big change for the city of Hattiesburg. “Some people say this isn’t much snow to worry over, but they have to realize people around here aren’t used to it,” said Lavenue Clifton, a junior photojournalism major.
Classes will resume as normal on Thursday at 1 p.m.