On Monday morning the low reached 14 degrees as students loaded school buses to return to the classrooms after the Christmas holidays. Strong northerly winds made the return nearly unbearable, and the frigid temperatures continued through early part of this week.
Terry Corley, manager of Scott Petroleum in Winona, said throughout the week while making deliveries, his drivers said the freezing winds were tough.
"It was just unbearable," Corley said. "The wind was so cold, and the drivers were really hit hard."
Corley said the recent string of cold weather wasn't the coldest he experienced, however. Corley said as a delivery driver in the 1980s, the temperatures stayed under ten degrees for a full week.
"Back in those days, we wore a lot of clothes, and if you fell it made a thump," Corley said.
Gary Steele of Carroll County said one of thing that hurt most about the freeze was the winds. While filling his truck at the pump station at 17-82 Quick Stop, Steele seemed to have held his breath as winds pounded him.
"That's what gets me, the wind," Steele said. "It's supposed to be cold in the winter, but when the wind hits you like this, I can't take much more."
State and local officials urge residents to take the proper precautions in preparing for winter weather.
According to Winona Water Superintendent Frank Faulkner, his crews repaired between 40 and 50 pipes around the city that burst after freezing. However, for pipes that burst on private property, the property owner is responsible for the repairs.
Winona City Clerk June Williams urged residents to winterize their homes by insulating exposed pipes and water faucets. She explained that many residents called city hall complaining about frozen pipes.
"Everyone needs to winterize their homes," Williams said.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency's Executive Director Robert Latham encouraged all Mississippians to take precautions to protect their homes, family, pets and vehicles.
"Mississippians are not accustomed to these types of temperatures," said Latham. "I encourage everyone to know the risk for your area, prepare yourself, your family and your community before the temperatures drop below freezing. The elderly and citizens with medical conditions are extremely vulnerable during these temperatures."
The area's record low was -9 degrees, back in 1966. Temperatures are expected to climb to the high 50s and low 60s by the weekend.