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Saturday, September 20, 2014, 12:57 a.m.
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State faces another morning of slick conditions

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published March 4, 2014 at 6:55 a.m. Updated March 4, 2014 at 6:38 p.m.

traffic-moves-along-an-icy-third-street-in-little-rock-tuesday-morning

Traffic moves along an icy Third Street in Little Rock Tuesday morning.

Icy road conditions halt I-40 traffic

Icy conditions on Interstate 40 created havoc for drivers on Tuesday, with long delays stretching from Brinkley to West Memphis. (By Benjamin Krain)
[View Full-Size]

Roads still slick in parts of LR/NLR

Road conditions were improved Tuesday but still slick in parts of Little Rock and North Little Rock.

A heavily damaged car sits on the side of Interstate 40 after a collision with an 18-wheeler Tuesday.

This map from the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department shows conditions early Tuesday across the state.

Dozens of schools and offices across Arkansas closed Tuesday and authorities worked to aid stranded motorists as the state for the second day in a row grappled with slick road conditions.

A wintry mix Sunday night dropped snow, sleet and freezing rain on much of the state, icing highways and knocking out power to thousands.

By Tuesday morning, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department was reporting some form of slick conditions on most highways in the northern half of the state. In Little Rock, ice patches were reported on all of the interstates.

In east Arkansas, ice on Interstates 40 and 55 stranded numerous motorists on the highways. The Arkansas National Guard and the Arkansas State Police checked on motorists and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission worked to bring fuel to vehicles that needed it, Gov. Mike Beebe's office said in a statement.

"The Arkansas State Police has been working throughout the night to clear damaged vehicles," the statement said. "Construction zones along both Interstates have exacerbated the backups and response delays."

Back in Little Rock, officials said Public Works crews were operating in 12-hour shifts around the clock to treat the streets. Eighty-eight employees reported to work the day shift at 5 a.m., the city said, adding that nine spreader trucks have been working to clear the city's eight established snow routes. Crews plan to move from major arteries into residential neighborhoods by Tuesday afternoon.

South Arkansas, where some icy conditions were reported Monday, was said to be clear Tuesday morning.

Entergy Arkansas, which at one point reported more than 27,000 power failures after the storm, said Tuesday that the number had dropped to about 9,600. About 4,100 of those were in Crittenden County.

Authorities responded to several reports of wrecks through the morning, including a collision between an 18-wheeler and a car on Interstate 40 in the Galloway area. Police on scene said no serious injuries were reported but that it was likely caused, at least in part, by the slick conditions.

Conditions are expected to improve somewhat Tuesday as the sun came out and temperatures increased.

In Little Rock, the high will be near the freezing mark and might come up just short, said Brian Smith, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock.

"It's iffy if we'll get above freezing," he said. "It's going to be very close."

Temperatures will fall back below the freezing mark "rather quickly" Tuesday night, meaning Wednesday morning could be slick again.

"Anything that has melted again will refreeze and probably cause some problems," Smith said.

Another system could bring another round of icy weather to central Arkansas on Wednesday night, but Smith said it looks like it will not be a significant storm.

By Friday, temperatures in parts of the state are supposed to reach the 60s.

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