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Oxford, Ole Miss officials prepare for possible ice

Reported by: Tyler Hill
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Updated: 12/05/2013 9:29 am
OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) — We're only a few weeks out from the Christmas Holidays, yet Wednesday, it felt more like spring.

However, that changes by Thursday afternoon, so some better get ready to bundle up.

In fact, Oxford and Ole Miss officials are preparing just in case there's ice.

Ole Miss held its annual Christmas Tree lighting on campus, but to many, "It doesn't feel like Christmas at all."

And that's because of the weather.

"The weather right now is very hot," said one student.

In fact, temperatures locally got up to nearly 80 degrees.

"I can wear some shorts and run around campus right now it's so hot," said another student.

But all of that is about to change.

By Friday, Lafayette County could see freezing rain and icy roads, so that has officials preparing for the worst possible scenario.

"What we're doing at the Oxford Police Department is we're staying in constant communication with out EMA Director," said Maj. James Owens.

He said as the freezing temperatures get closer, one of the main goals is to prepare residents.

"We're urging our citizens to have the necessary supplies," he said.

This means plenty of bottled water, a battery operated radio and non-perishable foods.

"They should have enough supplies where they can sustain and run their household for at least three to five days," Owens said.

Beyond that, he said personal safety is key, especially when it comes to driving on the roads.

"If you don't have to get out, we ask that you stay home," Owens explained. "Stay put."

Not only is the county preparing, but so is Ole Miss, which is home to thousands of students.

The university has a crisis action team that prepares days before bad weather is imminent.

"They [crisis action team] would help with road conditions, sidewalk conditions and other factors on our campus that might influence our ability to walk on campus or to drive on campus," said Associate Provost Noel Wilkin.

The university also has a variety of ways to inform students, faculty and staff of potential dangers, like email, text messages and the university's phone app.

Wilkin said it's vital that people stay tuned to those weather alerts.

"We think it's important that they know what's happening," Wilkin said. "It's also important for them to know what to do when they get that message, so we encourage people to go to our emergency website and see what the recommendations are with regards to various threats that we might face."

Keep in mind, icing is not a definite thing for Oxford and anywhere in our area.
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