Live weather updates: When will power be restored? Thousands of linemen in Mississippi to help

Temperatures will start to warm in the region Friday, but forecasters are warning residents that the danger presented by two winter storm systems this week hasn’t completely passed.

The latest forecast from the National Weather Service in Jackson shows that temperatures in the Jackson area may get up to the mid 30s by Friday afternoon. In the Delta and other northwest portions of the state, residents are still not expected to get above freezing. 

The outlook is better for the Pine Belt region, which could see highs in the mid to upper 40s.

A warm-up is expected this weekend, but that could lead to more problems with water systems and power grids throughout the state. More water main breaks are expected to occur, which could disrupt service to the areas in the state that still have it.

Officials in Jackson said they are working to restore water service to thousands of customers that haven’t had access to running water since Monday. A definitive timeline on when work will be completed has not been released.

Entergy CEO: Company deploying hundreds of workers to restore power in Mississippi

Most Entergy electricity customers in Mississippi should have services restored by the beginning of next week, the company’s chief executive said during a virtual press conference Friday.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Entergy Mississippi President and CEO Haley Fisackerly said more than 53,000 of the company’s approximately 450,000 customers are still without power, down from a peak of about 90,000 outages Wednesday.

More than 2,000 linemen and other personnel have been enlisted to help restore power in Mississippi, including workers from Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Canada.

Entergy services customers in 45 of Mississippi’s 82 counties.

Ice and COVID-19 restrictions have contributed to slower-than-normal restoration efforts, officials said. And working conditions, which include rolling terrain in more rural areas as well as power lines in metropolitan areas that were installed where work trucks cannot reach them, are forcing workers to climb icy poles.

Around noon, about 98,000 energy customers were without power across the state, according to data from PowerOutage.US. That included 17,000 in Hinds County, 1,500 in Rankin County and 2,500 in Madison County.

Power outages continue throughout the state

Some areas of the state are beginning to see power return Friday after bitterly cold temperatures sent energy grids offline in Mississippi.

More than 111,000 customers are without power as of Friday morning, with more than 20,000 in Hinds County alone, according to data from PowerOutage.US. 

Energy companies across the state have brought in more line workers to help restore power to customers as soon as possible and work will continue Friday.

See the Mississippi power outage map here.

See current Mississippi road conditions

Follow the latest road conditions with this live, updating map featuring webcams. Check the map here.

Most COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination sites remain closed Friday

The Mississippi State Department of Health announced Thursday that closures for many of its offices and COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination sites will continue Friday.

County health departments, WIC centers, and administrative offices in the following counties will open as normal:

  • Covington
  • Forrest
  • George
  • Greene
  • Hancock
  • Harrison
  • Jackson
  • Jefferson Davis
  • Jones
  • Lamar
  • Lauderdale
  • Marion
  • Pearl River
  • Perry
  • Stone
  • Wayne

The following locations open at 10 a.m.:

  • Clarke
  • Jasper
  • Lawrence
  • Simpson
  • Pike
  • Wilthall

The Smith County Health Department will open at 9 a.m., the agency said.

In addition, only drive-thru vaccination sites in Forrest, Harrison, Jackson, Lauderdale and Pike counties will be open Friday. Appointments at other locations have been rescheduled automatically and affected residents will be contacted through phone, text or email.

COVID-19 testing sites in Hinds and Lowndes counties have also been canceled Friday. The testing site in Smith County will open at 10 a.m. and the site in Pearl River County will open as normal.

Trash service suspended Friday

Waste management officials have announced that trash pick-up services will continue to be suspended Friday. Services will resume when the roads have been deemed safe to travel, officials said.

Have a news tip? Contact Keisha Rowe at nrowe@gannett.com, on Twitter or at (601) 760-2483.