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Winter weather paralyzes central Arkansas

By: 10 January 2011 One Comment

Tractor-trailers using the westbound land of Interstate 30 in Benton as a parking lot.

According to the National Weather Service office in Little Rock, between 2 and 6 inches of snow fell on central and southern Arkansas between Sunday afternoon and early Monday morning.

Some areas of the state received 10 inches of snow during the storm, as detailed quite well on a map in a weather report issued by the Weather Service.

Naturally, that much snow dumped on an area that typically receives very little caused a number of problems.

In central Arkansas, the National Guard was called out shortly after midnight on Monday to check on drivers stranded on Interstate 30 between Little Rock and Malvern as motorists were stranded on the road because of slick conditions, a few wrecks and other obstacles. National Guard soldiers set up temporary shelters for stranded motorists and checked vehicles to make sure the occupants had plenty of food and water to last until roads were passable.

And traffic wasn’t moving well on I-30 until about 3:30 p.m. on Monday, according to the following news release from Bill Sadler, public information officer for the Arkansas State Police:

Arkansas State Troopers on patrol along Interstate 30 in Saline County report for the first time today that traffic is moving in both directions, however, the flow of traffic is slow and travel will become more dangerous through this area as temperatures continue to drop this afternoon and tonight.

Sunday evening an unknown number of large commercial carrier trucks had become jackknifed along I-30 in Saline and Hot Spring County causing drivers of cars and trucks to become stranded.

Presently the worst stretch of I-30 where motorists have stalled is near the Caddo Valley area at the 78 mile marker in Clark County. Highway & Transportation Department crews are attempting to remove ice that has coated the eastbound lanes of traffic.

In east Arkansas along I-40 traffic is reported to be moving only hindered by ice covered bridges.

Along the western end of I-40 and north along I-540, State Troopers report traffic is moving but caution drivers of isolated icy spots in the highway that are beginning to develop.

There are no reports of problems along I-530 into Pine Bluff.

State Troopers along I-30 in southwest Arkansas report traffic is moving, but slowly due to ice that has begun to form in the snow ruts.

Meanwhile, the snow and ice may be with us throughout the week as current forecasts call for below-freezing temperatures through Friday. In central Arkansas, several school and business closings had been announced by mid-afternoon on Monday. Hopefully, people will be cautious while the snow and ice is with us — three people have been killed on the roads in this state in weather-related accidents due to the storm.

Check the KTHV Internet site for the latest closings and road conditions at the state of Arkansas site. You’ll find the latest forecasts at the National Weather Service’s site.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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