Residents of southern Mississippi prepare for the cold

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) – As temperatures drop, coastal residents brace themselves. Stores are stocked and ready and at least one business is doing the rounds to keep customers warm.

Gulfport’s Tazz Thigpen has several properties to protect.

It’s not something he’s used to doing here.

“I was mowing the grass until just a few weeks ago and it’s a bit strange, you know what I mean,” he said.

And in this region, a cold snap can surprise anyone.

“Sometimes because we’re used to something being one-sided and all of a sudden it drops,” he said. “You wake up one morning in shorts. After lunch, you have to put on a jacket. I mean, it’s crazy.

True Value Gulfport owner Matt Renick is ready to go crazy.

Pretty much everything you would need is here as he ordered early.

He said supply chain issues have been a problem.

“Everything in this store is stressed right now,” Renick said. “And, so, when winter comes – obviously winter hits the north before here – the traction is heavy up there. So we have to get ours early and get our name online so that we produce them. But we did, so we are ready.

Diamondhead resident Sargent Mellen just picked the only two oranges from his tree a few weeks ago.

He wants to make sure that he continues to produce, so that the tree is well wrapped.

And inside, he wants to make sure he and his wife are protected with a clean chimney for his gas fireplace.

At this noticeable delay, he was lucky to have been able to get an appointment with Top Hat Chimney Sweeps.

“I was supposed to do it last week, but they had an emergency, so they rescheduled it for this week,” Mellen said. “But at least I did it in less than two weeks.”

Top Hat’s Donaven Saucier said the earlier the appointment, the better.

“We try to tell everyone to do everything in the summer,” he said. “That way when it starts to get colder, we’re still cleaning up and it’s not as backed up.”

Saucier recommended that the fireplace be cleaned and inspected annually.

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