The ice, coupled with the strong winds knocked power out to an estimated 200,000 customers across Arkansas. Crews suspended work overnight for a time because the winds and blowing snow created dangerous work conditions.
Most roads have several inches of snow on top of a layer of sleet and freezing rain. The roadways are passable, but avoid driving if possible. In Jonesboro, the mayor ordered non-essential personnel to work at 10am. In Little Rock, all state employees were told they were on the inclement weather policy.
Take precautions, particularly if you plan on traveling. If possible, avoid driving altogether. It is also a good time to make sure you home and car are prepared for the winter elements. Check on the elderly and others that may not be able to maintain their home. You may also want to take provisions for any outside pets during the next 24 hours.
It is a good idea to make sure your cell phones are charged and flashlights have fresh batteries, and an alternate heating source (if the electricity is off) is in good working order.
- Reverse batteries in flashlight to avoid accidental switching and burnout.
- Store items in the passenger compartment in case the trunk is jammed or frozen shut.
- Choose small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold.
- If possible, call 911 on your cell phone. Provide your location, condition of everyone in the vehicle and the problem you're experiencing.
- Follow instructions: you may be told to stay where you are until help arrives.
- Do not hang up until you know who you have spoken with and what will happen next.
- If you must leave the vehicle, write down your name, address, phone number and destination. Place the piece of paper inside the front windshield for someone to see.
- Prepare your vehicle: Make sure you keep your gas tank at least half full.
- Be easy to find: Tell someone where you are going and the route you will take.
If stuck: Tie a florescent flag (from your kit) on your antenna or hang it out the window. At night, keep your dome light on. Rescue crews can see a small glow.