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Roads remain slick in parts of Arkansas

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published March 5, 2014 at 6:52 a.m.


This Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department map shows ice patches (in pink) on north Arkansas highways and ice across northeast Arkansas (in red) at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

Traffic moves over an icy Roosevelt Road bridge near the Arkansas State Fairgrounds Wednesday morning.

Roads in parts of Arkansas were slick for a third morning as the state continued to grapple with the effects of a winter storm that dropped sleet, freezing rain and snow Sunday night.

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department reported some form of slick conditions throughout northeast Arkansas and some points farther west.

A number of schools delayed opening or canceled class for a third day in a row Wednesday, and Entergy Arkansas continued to work to restore electricity to customers who lost it in the storm. About 4,200 power failures remained, mostly in eastern Arkansas, which was down from more than 27,000 earlier in the week.

Ice and icy patches were still present Wednesday on different parts of Interstates 40 and 55 in eastern Arkansas. Those highways have been the scene of hours-long backups triggered by the slick conditions, stranding some drivers overnight in their vehicles. At 7:20 a.m., the Highway Department said I-40 eastbound between Forrest City and Memphis was slow-moving, while I-40 westbound was troubled by longer delays. Meanwhile, I-55 was ice-covered, with traffic moving slowly and delays growing longer as the road neared West Memphis.

Little Rock's interstates, which a day earlier still had icy spots on them, were said to be clear Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service, though, warned motorists to be careful because temperatures dipped back below 32 overnight, potentially refreezing areas that had melted Tuesday.

"Many area roads, especially secondary and less traveled roads, continue to be ice covered and hazardous," the agency said in a statement.

The melting Tuesday also increased the likelihood of freezing fog, which could also make roads slick Wednesday morning.

High temperatures will surpass the freezing mark by the afternoon, the weather service said.


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