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Thursday, December 18, 2014, 6:32 a.m.
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Wintry mix causes slick roads, school closings, power failures

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published January 9, 2014 at 6:33 a.m. Updated January 9, 2014 at 11:10 a.m.

ice-coats-trees-at-knoop-park-in-little-rock-thursday

Ice coats trees at Knoop Park in Little Rock Thursday.

Highways across much of the state were slick with a wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow as a system moved through early Thursday morning.

A number of schools canceled class or opened late because of the conditions, including the Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County school districts, which each delayed opening by one hour.

In downtown Little Rock, a steady rain fell Thursday morning but a light coating of ice was visible on some trees. Conditions were worse farther north.

Forecasters said Wednesday that widespread power failures weren't expected in part because of the minor icing and because the system wouldn't pack high winds.

Entergy at 1 p.m. reported about 2,100 customers in the dark across the state including more than 1,200 in Pope County and about 500 in Pulaski County.

About 1,200 customers were in the dark after a failure of undetermined cause just before 8:30 a.m. along Cantrell Road in west Little Rock. Service to most of those customers was restored within an hour.

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department at 1 p.m. showed on its online condition map some form of slick condition on many major highways north of a line roughly from Texarkana to Little Rock to Jonesboro. Little Rock highways were said to clear.

Winter weather advisories throughout the state were allowed to expire by noon. The National Weather Service said only light pockets of freezing rain were expected with minor accumulations as the day progressed.

At 1 p.m., freezing rain was reported in Pine Bluff but most other locations across the state reported only rain or cloudy skies.

"Overall, temperatures will gradually creep up this morning," weather service warning coordination meteorologist John Robinson wrote in an email earlier Thursday. "By midday, most places should be above freezing, with the possible exception of a few spots in the north."

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Oldearkie says... January 9, 2014 at 12:14 p.m.

be truthful, most of the wrecks are caused by idiots driving too fast and too close. Take licenses and keep them until the drivers take a safe driving course.

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