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Motorists asked to stay off snow-covered roads

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published February 8, 2014 at 8:20 a.m. Updated February 8, 2014 at 12:44 p.m.

Authorities in Little Rock are asking motorists to stay off the roads Saturday after a winter storm dropped two-and-a-half inches of snow on the city.

Lt. Sidney Allen, a spokesman for the Little Rock Police Department, said the Friday night snow led to dozens of accidents.

"City of Little Rock staff is working around the clock to get streets cleared and to keep residents safe," City Manager Bruce Moore said in a statement. "At this time, I encourage citizens to exercise extreme caution if they must get out on the roads.

"City Public Works crews, Police, Fire and emergency responders are out in full force. I ask citizens to give them the space to work."

It was a similar story across much of Arkansas, where snow accumulations mostly ranged between a trace and 3 inches.

Arkansas State Police said they worked "many dozens" of wrecks in the snow. And the Arkansas Department of Highways and Transportation on Saturday reported some form of slick conditions on virtually all but the northwest corner of the state.

In Little Rock, the major highways were said to have snow or ice on them.

Numerous schools, including many that had been planning to administer ACT testing Saturday, closed instead because of the conditions. Click here for a full list.

For several hours Friday night, some of Little Rock's interstates were jammed with wrecks and stalled and abandoned vehicles. By Saturday morning, the ArkansasOnline live traffic map showed the gridlock had mostly cleared. But reports of problems were resurfacing early Saturday afternoon on Interstate 40 in North Little Rock.

Arkansas State Police said the backup on I-430 southbound and I-40 west at one point Friday night was 10 miles long.

Allen, the Little Rock police spokesman, warned motorists who abandoned their vehicles Friday night may find they have been towed when they return.

"Any vehicle that was abandoned on the roadway and considered a traffic hazard will most likely be towed to open up the roadways for city crews to plow and treat the streets.

Towed vehicles can be recovered by calling (501) 918-4260. The city said it will waive storage and administrative fees for towing, but the towing company will still charge its fee.


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