The Latest: Winter weather delivers quick hit to Arkansas
Jan. 12, 2018
OSCEOLA, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on winter weather impacting Arkansas (all times local):
The beginnings of a nasty winter storm moved eastward out of Arkansas but left behind a glaze of ice and snow and a network of highway traffic that slowed to a crawl.
Winter storm warnings were due to expire Friday afternoon as precipitation moved across the Mississippi River. Highway crews scraped and sanded roadways, but traffic in the eastern third of the state remained slow.
Arkansas highway officials said online traffic to a website featuring road conditions was so busy that they had to set up an extra server.
A number of school districts closed for the day, while others opened after a one- or two-hour delay to let the storm pass through.
Interstates 40 and 55 were closed for a time because of ice-related accidents but reopened.
The storm is expected to spread ice and snow across the Ohio Valley and the northeastern United States later Friday.
Snow, sleet and freezing rain have made for treacherous travel across Arkansas.
A developing winter storm that is expected to spread snow and ice across the Ohio Valley and northeastern U.S. dumped frozen precipitation across the eastern half of Arkansas overnight. A number of schools called off classes for the day, and some delayed their openings.
Multiple vehicles were reported off northbound Interstate 55 north of Memphis, Tennessee, shuttering the highway near Osceola. Another wreck earlier Friday blocked westbound Interstate 40 near Lonoke.
The worst conditions were reported east of a line from Camden to Lonoke to Walnut Ridge. Ice and slush were the main hazards. Traffic was reported as slow or stopped on most major highways from Jonesboro and Forrest City eastward.
Temperatures will remain low after the storm system leaves the state later Friday.
Highway officials are warning motorists in southern and eastern Arkansas to watch out for slippery roads as a winter storm starts to take shape.
The worst weather is expected to hit points east, but in Arkansas snow, sleet and freezing rain fell Friday morning.
Slush covered many highways east of Little Rock. A traffic accident closed westbound Interstate 40 at Lonoke. Traffic cameras showed vehicles moving slowly at West Memphis, where slush was reported on interstates 40 and 55.
A winter weather advisory was posted for the eastern half of the state, and a winter storm warning was up for counties closer to the Mississippi River due to the threat of significant ice and snow.
After precipitation clears out Friday afternoon, cold weather was expected for the holiday weekend.