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MDOT, local Mississippi officials report accident numbers from snowfall period

HERNANDO, Miss. -- Before Friday's snowfall, Mississippi Department of Transportation officials said they did not expect a high impact in the northern part of the state.

“We are not expecting this weather to affect the roads in Desoto/Marshall county and all the other counties in north Mississippi,” spokesperson Jason Scott said Thursday night.

But officials say Mother Nature changed course.

“On Thursday afternoon, all the weather forecasts showed cold temperatures but no precipitation or a low chance of precipitation,” Scott said during a Monday phone interview. “We kept roads in north Mississippi open and passable, so we feel like we responded in the best of our ability."

“The snow was very heavy. As soon as it started coming down, we put out a public safety message for people to stay off the roads,” DeSoto County Deputy Alex Coker said.

On Sunday, MDOT put out a warning for ice in 23 counties, including Marshall and DeSoto.

The state Highway Patrol said it responded to 15 calls over the weekend in the northern district, which includes Marshall and DeSoto Counties. They said most were cars sliding off the road.

Officials also reported a car flipped upside down on highway 78. The Marshall County coroner said the teenaged victims were taken to the Olive Branch hospital.

But for the most part, other officials said it could’ve been a lot worse.
DeSoto County law enforcement was surprised about the impact, given the weather.

“I haven’t seen a good snow like that in a while, coming down heavy all at once," Coker said.

They said they had one injury in around 100 calls over the three-day period.

MDOT also said it diverted northern Mississippi crews to the central part of the state where the weather impact was much stronger.