NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) -- Many cities and counties are on a winter storm alert this week.
And New Albany is no exception.
"It's not something that we really enjoy going through, but the main thing you can do is just make sure your trucks are all gassed up and ready to go, and that all the materials are loaded up, materials that you might need," New Albany Light, Gas and Water general manager Bill Mattox said. "Right now we're just going to wait and see if any calls come in."
You see, members of New Albany Light, Gas and Water are among those on the front lines when icy conditions are a possibility.
As the precipitation falls, ice builds up on anything it can, anything perched above the ground.
But most times, officials say, it's not the power lines that collapse under the added weight; it's the branches above those lines.
"We've got about 20-25 men working that we can call at any time and get them to come out and work at any time," operations superintendent Ray Hall said.
One reason Mattox and his crew take any winter storm warning seriously: a major weather event that took place 18 years ago, what any north Mississippi resident would call 'Ice Storm '94.'
"A lot of the guys are still here who went through that 1994 ice storm," Mattox said. "That's really kind of the worst-case scenario for us, because we actually lost every customer on our system at that time. There was a point where all of them were off."
That storm hit 26 counties in northern Mississippi in February 1994, causing about $300 million in damage, according to the National Weather Service.
This weather event isn't expected to be that bad, though.
"Here at New Albany right now, it doesn't look that bad. But up around Blue Mountain and Hickory Flat area, it might get worse. Just sortof a wait-and-see situation," Hall said.