A new weather system is expected to deliver some wintry precipitation to north and central Arkansas.
John Robinson, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in North Little Rock, said Thursday morning that the next system will likely go into effect after midnight and last through Friday.
The precipitation levels will be light, but sub-freezing temperatures could create problems for drivers, Robinson said.
The forecast by region:
- In Northwest Arkansas, little to no precipitation is expected;
- In north-central and northeast Arkansas, a mix of light freezing rain, sleet and snow is expected into Friday morning, turning into rain by midday;
- In the Arkansas River valley, the Ouachita Mountain region, and central and east-central Arkansas, light freezing rain or sleet is expected, turning into rain by late morning.
- In south Arkansas, temperatures should be high enough all precipitation falls as rain.
Meanwhile, power failures persisted after the Christmas Day snowstorm.
Entergy Arkansas at 10 a.m. said that more than 139,000 customers were in the dark, more than 74,000 of those in Pulaski County and more than 21,000 in Garland County.
First Electric Cooperative reported that more than 20,000 customers were without power, down from more than 30,000 on Wednesday afternoon.
The North Little Rock Electric Department said that 700 customers were without power.
A number of warming centers were set up in central Arkansas. Shelters were located at:
In Saline County:
• Northside Church of Christ, 917 N. East St. in Benton. (501) 315-1128.
• The Center at Bishop Park, 6401 Boone Road in Bryant. (501) 258-6161.
In Pulaski County:
• Jacksonville Community Center, 5 Municipal Drive. (501) 982-4171.
• North Little Rock Community Center, 2700 Willow St., (501) 791-8538.
• Salvation Army, 1111 W. Markham in Little Rock. (501) 374-9296.
• Little Rock Compassion Center, 3618 W. Markham. (501) 296-9114.
In Lonoke County:
• Cabot Senior Center, 600 N. Grant St. (501) 843-2196.
In Garland County:
• First Church of the Nazarene, 3804 Central Ave. in Hot Springs. (501) 525-1343.
In Faulkner County:
• McGee Center, 3800 College Ave. in Conway. (501) 513-3586.
With freezing temperatures persisting, Central Arkansas Water urged customers to leave a thin stream of water running continuously from at least one cold-water tap in their homes to guard against freezing pipes.
Meanwhile, the remnants of the storm affected municipal schedules a second day. Gov. Mike Beebe declared that only essential state employees should report to work in the Little Rock metropolitan area Thursday.
The city of Little Rock said that all its offices would open at noon Thursday.
Little Rock also said that garbage collection would run late. The Public Works Department asked residents to put out their trash barrels one day later than usual and leave them out until their ash has been collected, saying that the trash collectors will work overtime over the weekend until all trash is picked up.
In North Little Rock, the city said on its website, sanitation pickups will run a day late, using the weekend as catchup time if need be.
In Jonesboro, the city said, Monday and Tuesday collections would be Thursday; Wednesday and Thursday collections will be done Friday; and Friday collections will occur Saturday. The city added that if roads are too treacherous, some may be picked up next week instead.