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Ice storm warning leads to closings again today

by I.C. Murrell | February 2, 2023 at 3:03 a.m.
A mostly frozen Old Glory shifts in the morning breeze on Wednesday as sleet comes down. Rain and freezing rain continues to be in the forecast for today with a high of 35 expected. (Pine Bluff Commercial/Byron Tate)

Some ice that had accumulated overnight in Pine Bluff melted away by Wednesday morning, but that's just it -- only some of it melted.

An ice storm warning remains in effect until noon today, with patchy fog, rain and freezing rain most likely and a high of 35. The chance of precipitation today is 90 percent.

The warning, updated Wednesday morning, extended into counties further south of Jefferson, including Drew, Bradley, Calhoun, Ouachita and Desha. Jefferson, Arkansas, Dallas, Cleveland and Lincoln counties are also impacted by the declaration from the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock.

Entergy crews were seen staging at Walmart and at hotels in Stuttgart in preparation for the ice storm, but no outages were reported in Arkansas County as of 1:50 p.m., according to Entergy's outage map. There were 29 outages reported west of Pine Bluff at the time and 419 in the vicinity of Fordyce.

"Entergy Arkansas continues to monitor the weather, as more precipitation is forecast to impact the state [Wednesday] evening spreading east and increasing intensity with freezing rain persisting overnight, and finally exiting the state Friday afternoon," Entergy wrote in a news release. "As temperatures remain below freezing, precipitation will continue to produce ice accumulations of up to a quarter-inch in many areas and up to one-half inch in predicted areas south of Little Rock, between Arkadelphia and Pine Bluff. Severe ice accumulations may cause widespread power outages and additional hazardous travel conditions, making for treacherous driving and potentially slowing restoration efforts."

Pine Bluff, Watson Chapel and White Hall school districts announced classes would remain in alternate methods of instruction for a third straight day Thursday.

No announcements about Thursday's classes had yet been made for either the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff or Southeast Arkansas College.

Both the city of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County announced its public offices would remain closed Thursday due to inclement weather. Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson said no emergency services would be affected by the closure of the courthouse and county offices.

Print Headline: Ice storm warning leads to closings again today


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