The University of Mississippi announced on Feb. 16 that while the Oxford campus will be shut down for a third day due to winter weather, classes may be conducted virtually wherever possible starting on Wednesday.
“Instructors will contact their students with additional guidance and details,” the announcement read. “Employees who are able to telecommute are encouraged to do so.”
The statement released on the university’s website also encouraged faculty and supervisors to recognize extenuating circumstances such as power and internet outages. Students are encouraged to contact their instructors for further guidance.
The university has also cancelled asymptomatic testing on Wednesday, but the testing is scheduled to resume on Thursday and Friday. According to an announcement on the city of Oxford’s Facebook page, drive-thru vaccinations at the National Armory have all been rescheduled on weekends within the next two weeks.
With housing around the area losing and regaining power since an Anderson Road power line caught fire on Monday night, Mayor Robyn Tannehill reminded the community that the ‘temporary warming shelter’ in the Oxford Activity Center is available for those who need it. The shelter continues to remain open for 24 hours a day and will provide food and cots.
Tannehill also detailed the power outages around the area in her statement. She said Oxford Utilities is attempting to fix the ongoing issues as quickly as possible.
“If you see an Oxford Utilities truck and employees, please yell out your front door that they are appreciated,” Tannehill said.
Rob Neely, general manager at Oxford Utilities, said Oxford Utilities saw an increase in concern about frozen pipes on Tuesday as well.
“When the weather drops, the usage goes up,” Neely said. “Today we had a lot of frozen pipe calls, and we’ll get more of those tomorrow, but hopefully, we can keep the power on through the night.”
Rebel Market was the only on-campus dining option operating as of Feb. 16. Ole Miss Dining has not released if this will continue to be the only service open on campus, or if more will open in the coming days.
Road crews cleared ice and snow off of Molly Barr Road and Jackson Avenue, but University Avenue from South Lamar to South 18th Street remains closed. Tannehill posted a statement about the road conditions and encouraged residents to stay warm.
Tannehill also said at a Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday that the city has ordered more slag for the roads and rented additional equipment to clear the roads.
“Please be patient,” she said. “We aren’t like a northern town.”
The National Weather service has issued another winter storm warning for north Mississippi until 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18. The statement said that three to five more inches of snow can be expected on Wednesday night. Travel is not encouraged since road conditions are not expected to improve.